Next month, one of my favourite fictional couples returns to the big screen. In the first movie, BEFORE SUNRISE, Jesse and Celine were twentysomethings, wandering around Europe, looking for something. They found each other on a train and spent one amazing night together in Vienna. That was 18 years ago.
The second movie, BEFORE SUNSET, finds them in Paris, but not together. Now they’re in their thirties, and Jesse is unhappily married, with a son, and Celine has a boyfriend who is always away. By the end of the movie, before the sun sets, we knew that Jesse would choose to stay with Celine.
If that was the ending, I could have been happy. But now we’re getting another phase in Jesse and Celine’s lives. They’re married, in their forties, and have two young girls of their own. BEFORE MIDNIGHT may not be the end of their love story, but I like the middle.
Many of the romantic movies and novels out there are about how a couple gets together: first sight, first date, first kiss. I like the stories about the next morning, the second date, and all the kisses after you stop counting. My favourite bit in A GREAT ROUGH DIAMOND (can you have a favourite bit in your own book?) is how, even when Wes and Charlie are fighting, they still sneak away from their own party in their own house to have sex.
I can’t wait for Jesse and Celine to get their third happy ending.