Twice a day, a group of work friends and I go for a walk of about 1.5 miles. During this time, we talk about literally everything from Socialism, the French Revolution, to current real estate trends, fashion, and Sherlock. We’re a diverse group of ages, races, and backgrounds, yet we all work in a pretty small universe. Today, we were discussing our favorite movie love stories, and about halfway through our walk, it occurred to me that you could tell a lot about each of these women by the love story that was most important to them.
For one woman, her favorite was An Officer and A Gentleman. Easy enough to see, she wants to be swept off her feet. Another woman liked Only Lovers Left Alive. Again, I could totally see how it related to her – she and her husband love each other dearly, but they live pretty separate lives and each pursue their own hobbies separately. However, when my turn came, I couldn’t see the connection with my love story as clearly. Or, at least, I could see it, but it didn’t seem as romantic to me.
My favorite love story in a movie is Before Sunset. Quick synopsis – a guy and girl meet in Vienna and spend a wonderful evening together. The next morning, the guy is flying back to America, and they agree to meet on the exact same spot in six months (actually that’s the synopsis for Before Sunrise, the prequel to Before Sunset). Nine years later, the two meet accidentally in Paris, and spend 90 minutes walking around the city catching up and wondering at the outcome of their lives. There’s a lot of talk about destiny/fate, what happiness really is and if people are capable of being truly happy, missed connections, growing up. The movie takes place in real time, so you follow the two around from the moment they see each other through without any breaks. The movie asks if true love and soul mates are really possible, and if it is possible to fall back in love with someone – or maybe it questions whether these two ever stopped loving each other.
So for me, obviously there’s the connection between overthinking/overanalyzing, talking about a myriad of subjects, and always wondering what if. I think part of the reason I love it so much is because the female character, Celine, thinks very similarly to me. At one point, she talks about why she doesn’t have one-night stands – because she cannot be intimate with someone, and not connect to them on some deeper level. She talks about how after a relationship is over, she is completely wrecked, and how everyone she has been with has meant so much to her, and she can’t just let that go. I’m also a pretty big believer in fate, and so the question of “was this always meant to happen in just this way?” really gets to me. Can you screw up your life accidentally? Can you miss out on true love because of some fluke accident? That just feels too random and scary. It would be bad enough knowing that I could miss out on a chance for love and happiness because of my own stupidity, but to miss out because someone’s uncle passed away, or because some car wrecked (ala An Affair to Remember), that idea is absolutely too much for me to bear. I need to believe that everything is fated to happen the way that it happens, that every decision I have ever made was already written down somewhere, was already known to some higher being. I need to know that everything will work out in the end.
Also, these characters were 32 in the movie, the same age I am now. So if my true love could hurry and show up and we could be together forever, that would be great.