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i don't want to be her but i totally am...

Scene VI – The Car Ride (from Before Sunset with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy)

Location notes: Quai Henri IV is located on the Right Bank just west of Pont d’Austerlitz.

Jesse: Glad somebody does. Now, this is better than the Metro, right?

Céline: Definitely!

(The camera cuts ahead of the car, leading it as it pulls onto the main road. The conversation continues.)

Céline: I was thinking...for me it's better I don't romanticize things as much anymore. I was suffering so much all the time. I still have lots of dreams, but they're not in regard to my love life. (Cut to interior of the car.) It doesn't make me sad, it's just the way it is.

Jesse: Is that why you're in a relationship with somebody who's never around?

Céline: Yes, obviously, I can't deal with the day to day life of a relationship. Yeah, we have, you know, this exciting time together and then he leaves, and I miss him, but at least I'm not dying inside. When someone is always around me, I'm like suffocating!

Jesse: No, wait, you just said that you need to love and be loved...

Céline: Yeah, but when I do it quickly makes me nauseous! It's a disaster... I mean I'm really happy only when I'm on my own. Even being's better than...sitting next to a lover and feeling lonely. It's not so easy for me to be all romantic. You start off that way and after you've been screwed over a few…you forget about all your delusional ideas and you just take what comes into your life. That's not even true I haven't been...screwed over, I've just had too many blah relationships. They weren't mean, they cared for me, but... there were no real...connection or excitement. At least not from my side.

Jesse: God, I'm sorry, is it really that bad? It's not, right?

Céline: (Shaking her head with eyes nearly watering.) You's not even that. I was...I was fine, until I read your fucking book! It stirred shit up, you know? It reminded me how genuinely romantic I was, how I had so much hope in things, and now it's like...I don't believe in anything that relates to love. I don't feel things for people anymore. In a way...I put all my romanticism into that one night, and I was never able to feel all this again. Like...somehow this night took things away from me and...I expressed them to you, and you took them with you! It made me feel cold, like if love wasn't for me!

Jesse: I... I don't believe that. I don't believe that.

Céline: You know what? Reality and love are almost contradictory for me. It's funny...every single of my ex’s...they're now married! Men go out with me, we break up, and then they get married! And later they call me to thank me for teaching them what love is, and…

Jesse: (Smiling sympathetically.) Oh God. (Rubs his face with both hands.)

Céline: …and that I taught them to care and respect women!

Jesse: (Pointing at himself.) I think I'm one of those guys.

Céline: (Yelling.) You know, I want to KILL them!! Why didn't they ask ME to marry them? I would have said "No", but at least they could have asked!! But it's my fault, I know it's my fault, because...I never felt it was the right man. Never! But what does it mean the right man? The love of your life? The concept is absurd; the idea that we can only be complete with another person is...EVIL!! RIGHT??!!

Jesse: (Sheepishly.) Can I talk?

Céline: (Speaking more quietly.) You know, I guess I've been heartbroken too many times. And then I recovered. So now, you know, from the starts I make no effort…because I know it’s not going to work out, I know it’s not going to work out.

Jesse: You can't do that. You can't do that, you can't live your life trying to avoid pain, at the expense of en...

Céline: (Interrupting.) OK, you know what? (Moving her fingers to mock the movement of Jesse’s mouth as he speaks.) Those are words! I've gotta...I've gotta get away from you. (To Philippe.) Stop the car, I want to get out!

Jesse: No, no, no, don't...don't get out.

Céline: You know, it's being around you...

Jesse: Keep talking...

Céline: (Jesse grabs her arm) Don't touch me! (Slaps his hand.) You know, I wanna get on a cab...

(To Philippe.) Monsieur! Arretez-vous! Non, non, c'est bon, au feu la! Juste au feu, au coin, il y a un metro meme! Je veux prendre le metro. (Sir, please stop! No, no, it’s okay, at the next traffic light, at the corner, there is even a metro! I want to take the metro.)

Jesse: (To Philippe) No, no, no, keep going... (To Céline) No, listen, I'm just so happy... (To Philippe) Thank you, just keep going...(To Céline.) Alright. Look, I am just so happy, be with you. I am. I'm so glad you didn’t forget about me. OK.

Céline: No, I didn't...and it pisses me off, OK? You come here to Paris, all romantic, and married, OK? Screw you! Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to get you or anything. I mean, all I need is married man! There's been so much water under the bridge, it''s not even about you anymore, it's about that time, that moment in time that is forever gone, I don't know!

Jesse: say all that, but you didn't even remember having sex. So...

Céline: (Flatly, with resignation.) Of course I remembered.

Jesse: (Confused.) You did?

Céline: Yes! Women pretend things like that. I don’t know…(Laughs.)

Jesse: (Still confused.) They do?

Céline: Yeah, what was I supposed to say? That I remember the wine in the park looking up at the stars fading away as the sun came up? We had sex TWICE (claps her hands), you idiot!

Jesse: Alright, you know what? I'm just...happy to see you, even've become an angry, manic depressive activist. I still like you! I still enjoy being around you!

(Reaches out to touch her face, but pulls his hand back quickly, before she notices.)

Céline: And I feel the same. (Laughing.) I'm...I'm sorry, I don't know what happened. I just...I had to let it all out. I...

Jesse: Don't worry about it.

Céline: I'm so miserable in my love life, in my relationship, I always act as... know, I'm detached, but I'm... I'm dying inside. I'm dying because I'm so numb. I don't feel pain, or excitement. I'm not even bitter, I'm just...uh…

Jesse: You think you're the one dying inside? My life is twenty four-seven...BAD.

Céline: I'm sorry.

Jesse: No, no, no...I mean, the only happiness I get is when I'm out with my son. I've been to marriage counseling, I've done things I never thought I would have to do. I lit candles, bought self-help books, lingerie...

Céline: Did the candles help?

Jesse: HELL. NO. (Plaintively.) Alright, I don’t love her the way she needs to be loved, and...I don't even see a future for us. But then I look my little boy, sitting at the table across from me, and I think I would have suffered any torture to be with him for all the minutes of his life. You know, I don't wanna miss out on one. But then...there's no joy, or laughter, in my home. You know, and I don't want him growing up in that!

Céline: Oh, no laughter? That's terrible. My parents have been together for 35 years and even when they have a bad fight they end up laughing like crazy.

Jesse: I just...I don't wanna be one of those people who are...getting divorced at 52 and falling down into tears admitting that they never really loved their spouse, and they feel that their life has been (waves his hand, as if being pulled) sucked up into a vacuum cleaner! You know, I want a great life. I want her to have a great life. She deserves that! Alright? But we're just living in a pretense of a marriage, responsibility and all these...just...ideas of how people are supposed to live. Then I...I have these dreams...

Céline: What dreams?

Jesse: (Looks away distantly.) I have these dreams, you know, that I’m…I'm standing on a platform, and uh, you keep going by on a train, go by, and you go by, and you go by, and you go by, and I wake up with the fucking sweats, you know? And then I have this other dream, oh...where you're...pregnant, in bed beside me, naked, and I want so badly to touch you, but you tell me not to and then you look away and...and I...I...I touch you anyway, right on your ankle and your skin is so soft and I wake up in sobs, alright? (Inhales deeply.) And my wife is sitting there looking at me, and I feel like I'm a million miles from her, and I know that there's something...wrong! (Céline reaches out to stroke Jesse’s face, but pulls her hand back before he sees her.) You know, that I ca...that I can't keep living like this, that there's gotta be something more to love than commitment. But then I think that...I might have given up...on the whole idea of romantic love. That I...I might have put it to bed that...that day when you weren't there. You know, I think I might have done that.

Céline: (Eyes starting to water again.) Why are you telling me all this?

Jesse: I'm sorry. I don't know, I'm...I...I should...I...I shouldn't have.

Céline: You know, it's so weird...that people think they are the only one going through tough times. I mean when I read the article I thought...your life was perfect. A wife, a kid, a published author. (Jesse laughs.) Your personal life is more of a mess than mine! I'm sorry! (Both laugh.)

Jesse: Well...I'm glad it's good for something.

Céline: (To Philippe.) Oh, monsieur, c'est la! Rentrez dans la passe la. (Sir, this is it. Pull into the alley right there.)

(Camera cuts to exterior of the car pulling into the driveway of Céline’s apartment.)


Blogger Melanie said...

I love that movie...and the one before it. :)

12:03 AM  

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