Before Sunset (2004)
“You come here to Paris, all romantic, and married, okay? Screw you.” ~ Celine
As the time nears for me to finally see the third installment of the Jesse and Celine trilogy I find myself re-watching the previous two and replaying clips, such as the one above, and momentarily reliving some of my favorite parts. The first time I saw the sequel, Before Sunset, I was vehemently angry. I hated that this was what these people’s lives had become, and as I sat there watching, around the same age as Jesse and Celine, I found myself screaming at the screen that it was not fair. I did not want to think that the romance of the first movie was only a reality of youth, that by the time one reached one’s thirties they were destined, and obligated, to be jaded and full of regrets. I wanted to believe that my hopeless (hopeful) romantic self, who was in her thirties at the time, was not just stupid and naive and wrong.
The second and third, and most likely fourth and fifth time I watched it I started to let it sink in more and more, and I understood it more, related it to it. I started to see the hope and the love in it, as well. It still breaks my heart, especially the scenes in the cab, but I feel hope in it somehow, too. Maybe it is naivete, or perhaps I always held out a part of my heart for a Before Midnight, and for a future life for Jesse and Celine, or for myself?
I do know that for the span of this movie, and its predecessor, Before Sunrise, I have always related most with Jesse. That is, until this most recent viewing. Where I am now, in my life, I seem to fell the tug and pull to Celine, and it is her that I find myself relating to more and more. Good film is like that, just like great books and amazing music, with every re-watch it has the capacity of being something different, and almost brand new, to you. For me, this time, it is understanding Celine that the film is gifting me, and in many ways, understanding myself more.
Now I wait, not for much longer now, to see what happened after Celine told Jesse he was going to miss that plane, after she sang that song to him, and after they both recognized that it was all still very much there between them. What does one more day have in store for two of my favorite cinematic characters ever?
Will I continue to relate to Celine?
Before Sunset ending