CELINE: 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. 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?
CELINE: Yes, obviously I can’t deal with the day-to-day life of a relationship. Yeah, we have this exciting time together…and he leaves and I miss him, but at least I’m not dying inside. When someone’s always around me, I’m suffocating.
JESSE: No, wait, you just said that you need to love and be loved.
CELINE: Yeah, but when I do, it quickly makes me nauseous. (Jesse laughs) It’s a disaster! I mean, I’m really happy only when I’m on my own. Even being alone, it’s better than sitting next to a lover and feeling lonely. It’s not so easy for me to be a romantic. You start off that way, and after you’ve been screwed over a few times… you forget about your delusional ideas and you 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- is it really that bad? It’s not, right?
(Celine looks at him)
CELINE: You know.. It’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 love wasn’t for me.
JESSE: I don’t believe that. I- I don’t believe that.
CELINE: You know what? Reality and love are almost contradictory for me. (she smiles) It’s funny. Every single one of my exes, they’re now married. Men go out with me, we break up, and then they get married. (Jesse chuckles) And later they call me to thank me for teaching them what love is and..- that I taught them to care and respect women.
JESSE: Yeah, I think I’m one of those guys-
CELINE: 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: Can I talk?
CELINE: 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 gonna work.
JESSE: You can’t do that. You- you can’t do that, you can’t live your life trying to avoid pain at the expense of-
CELINE: Ok, you know what? Those are words. I’ve gotta- I’ve gotta get away from you. Stop the car, I wanna get out.
JESSE: No, don’t. Don’t- don’t get out-
CELINE: It’s being around you-
JESSE: Keep talking-
CELINE: Okay, don’t touch me, you know, I want to get on a cab.
(she starts talking in French to the chauffeur)
JESSE: (to the chauffeur) No, don’t. No, no, no, no. Keep going. (to Celine) Listen, I’m just so happy- (to the chauffeur) Thank you, just keep going. (to Celine) All right. Look, I’m just so happy, all right, to be with you. I am. I’m so glad you didn’t forget about me, okay?
CELINE: No, I didn’t. And it pisses me off, okay? You come here to Paris, all romantic, and married. Okay? Screw you. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to get you or anything. I mean, all I need is a married man. (she sighs) There’s been so much water under the bridge, it’s not even about you anymore. It’s about that moment in time that is forever gone.
JESSE: You say that, but you didn’t even remember having sex, so…(he smiles)
CELINE: Of course I remembered.
JESSE: You did?
CELINE: Yes. (she chuckles) Women pretend things like that, I don’t know…
JESSE: They do?
CELINE: Yeah, what was I supposed to say? That I remember the wine in the park and us looking up at the stars fading away as the sun came up? We had sex twice, you idiot! (they both smile)
JESSE: All right, you know what? I’m just happy to see you. Even if you’ve become an angry, manic-depressive activist, I still like you, I still enjoy being around you.
CELINE: And I feel the same. I’m sorry. I don’t know what happened, I just… I had to let it all out.
JESSE: Don’t worry about it.
CELINE: I’m so miserable in my love life, in my relationship. I always act as… Like, you know, I’m detached. But 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…
JESSE: You think you’re the one dying inside? My life is 24/7 bad.
CELINE: I’m sorry.
JESSE: 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’ve lit candles, bought self-help books, lingerie-
CELINE: Did the candles help?
JESSE: Hell, no. 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 at my little boy… sitting across from me, and I think I’d suffer any torture to be with him for all the minutes of his life. You know, I don’t want to 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.
CELINE: Oh, no laughter? That’s terrible. My parents have been together 35 years and even when they have a bad fight, they end up laughing.
JESSE: I just- I don’t want to be one of those people who are getting divorced at 52 and falling down into tears, admitting they never really loved their spouse and they feel their life has been… sucked up into a vacuum cleaner. You know, I want a great life. I want her to have a great life. She deserves that. But we’re just living in the pretense of a marriage, responsibility, you know, all these… ideas of how people are supposed to live. But then I… I have these dreams…
CELINE: What dreams?
JESSE: I have these dreams, you know, that… I’m standing on a platform…and you keep going by on a train… And you go by, and you go by, and you go by, you go by. And I wake up with the fucking sweats, you know? And then I have this other dream… 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 I… And I- I… I touch you anyway… right on your ankle, and your skin is so soft that I wake up in sobs, all right? 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, you know? That I… God, that I can’t keep living like this, that there’s gotta be 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.
Before Sunset (2004)
This is still one of my favorite scenes in a movie EVER. I’m sorry it got so incredibly long but you can’t just cut a dialogue from this movie.
I love that the whole sequence is like 10 minutes long, there are just 3 camera angles and yet, it’s incredibly moving and intense. It’s all in the dialogue, it flows in such an amazingly perfect way, it gives me goose bumps everytime.