As someone who once had a Facebook group dedicated to my pet called “Che is not a revolutionary, he’s my cat”, I think I’m entitled to believe this film was basically just made for me.

united states, 2004, english


Before Sunset

It’s a shame whenever I can’t find the time to write up my thoughts in a timely manner. I’ve certainly mentioned that ad nauseam for the past year or so. But it’s especially unfortunate this time, because this film hit me right in the relationship feels. I was stunned afterwards and I spent a lot of time thinking about it.

Others may disagree, but I found that, as hoped for, all the twenty something annoyances of these characters mostly fell away now that we were seeing them in their early thirties. Are these two people still somewhat ridiculous, speaking only in movie monologues? Yes, of course. Still, they are so much easier to deal with than their younger selves, but like, I suspect, we mostly all are.

But what struck me so strongly here was that I feel like my own relationship with my wife is somehow being referenced in this movie. Not directly, of course. I’m not suggesting Richard Linklater knows our story. And, to be honest, our story doesn’t resemble this one that much. At least not superficially anyway. But there’s a throughline that was immediately so apparent.

My wife and I met five years before we started dating, and ten years before we got married. We were “friends”. I put that in quotes because I don’t think either of us actually had friend-type feelings for the other, although at least one of us denied that for a long, long time. You know who you are. But we were not together. In that sense we were like Jesse and Céline, connected but also dating other people. Being married to other people in fact, for one of us, just like in this film.

But we were missing that incredible connection that we had found with each other. We were discovering exactly how special and rare that is to find in another person. I don’t know if I believe in the idea of having a soul mate, it seems a bit overly confused, but if there were ever a couple that could make the argument it’s us. Just the circumstances of us meeting at all were at least a million to one, if not much, much lower. But somehow we found each other, and we’re together still. The film spoke to all of that, and therefore holds an incredibly special place in my heart.

Also, I had a cat named Che. Who I adopted before this movie came out. So... that hit me pretty hard to. I mean obviously a coincidence, but to have that happen in a movie that otherwise spoke to me like this. Very eerie indeed.