To Be Loved a Little More

“Before Sunrise” is a movie made in 1995 starring Ethan Hawke as a young American named Jesse and Julie Delpy as Celine, a young French Girl.  They meet on a train and end up getting off together in Vienna where they spend the night walking around the city getting to know each other.  Celine is a romantic with doubts and Jesse is cynic when it comes to affairs of the heart.  Thinking they will never see each other again both are more revealing about them self that they normally would be.  “Before Sunset” is a sequel that picks up the story nine years after the events of the first movie.

I am grateful for the hapless romantic in me that is brought to the surface when I watch these favorite movies.  The dialogue runs the gamut from insightful and revealing to touching and amusing.   Here are randomly selected pieces of the movies.

Jesse:  I don’t know, I think that if I could just accept the fact that my life is supposed to be difficult. You know, that’s what to be expected, then I might not get so pissed-off about it and I’ll just be glad when something nice happens. 

Celine:  If there’s any kind of magic in this world, it must be in the attempt of understanding someone, sharing something. I know, it’s almost impossible to succeed, but…who cares, really? The answer must be in the attempt. 

Jesse:  You know what drives me crazy? It’s all these people talking about how great technology is, and how it saves all this time. But, what good is saved time, if nobody uses it? If it just turns into more busy work. You never hear somebody say, “With the time I’ve saved by using my word processor, I’m gonna go to a Zen monastery and hang out”. 

Celine:   The reality of it is that the true work of improving things is in the little achievements of the day 

Jesse:  Maybe what I’m saying is the world might be evolving the way a person evolves. Right? Like, me for example. Am I getting worse? Am I improving? I don’t know. When I was younger, I was healthier, but I was whacked with insecurity. Now I’m older and my problems are deeper, but I’m more equipped to handle them

Celine:   Isn’t everything we do in life a way to be loved a little more? 

Jesse:  You realize that most of the people that you meet are trying to get somewhere better, they’re trying to make a little bit more cash, trying to get a little more respect, have more people admire them. It’s just exhausting. 

Celine:   I like to feel his eyes on me when I look away. 

Jesse:  I don’t have any permanent place here. You know, in eternity, or whatever. And the more I think that, I can’t go through life saying that this is no big deal. I mean, this is it! This is actually happening. What do you think is interesting, what do you think is funny, what do you think is important? You know, every day is our last. 

Celine:   Now, it’s almost impossible to succeed, but…who cares, really? The answer must be in the attempt. 

Jesse:  I heard this story once about when the Germans were occupying Paris and they had to retreat back. They wired Notre Dame to blow, but they had to leave one guy in charge of hitting the switch. And the guy, the soldier, he couldn’t do it. You know, he just sat there, knocked out by how beautiful the place was. And then when the allied troops came in, they found all the explosives just lying there and the switch unturned, and they found the same thing at Sacre Couer, Eiffel Tower. Couple other places I think…
Celine:  Is that true?
Jesse:  I don’t know. I always liked the story, though.
Almost at the end of the second movie, “Before Sunset” Julie Delpy sings a song portrayed as being one Celine wrote about their first meeting nine years before.  

Let me sing you a waltz
Out of nowhere, out of my thoughts
Let me sing you a waltz
About this one night stand
You were, for me, that night
Everything I always dreamt of in life
But now you’re gone
You are far gone
All the way to your island of rain
It was for you just a one night thing
But you were much more to me, just so you know
I don’t care what they say
I know what you meant for me that day
I just want another try, I just want another night
Even if it doesn’t seem quite right
You meant for me much more than anyone I’ve met before
One single night with you, little Jesse, is worth a thousand with anybody
I have no bitterness, my sweet
I’ll never forget this one night thing
Even tomorrow in other arms, my heart will stay yours until I die
Let me sing you a waltz
Out of nowhere, out of my blues
Let me sing you a waltz
About this lovely one night stand

Neither movie reaches a conclusion and one watching must fill in that blank the way they imagine it to turn out.  With a short visit to what is said and sung in “Before Sunrise” and “Before Sunset” my morning is a bit brighter.  I am grateful for the sweetness I always feel when exposed to these two films.  They portray falling in love as imperfect, yet at its very best.  

True love is like ghosts, which everybody talks about,
but few have seen.  
Duc de la Rochefoucauld