I saw Before Sunrise and Before Sunset many years ago and I liked both films. Of course, in reality, most love couples don’t talk so much. Part of being a couple is to be part of the silent liaison a couple consists of, but again, the dialogues are what make both films so interesting.
And now, at the start of my forties and the mother of two small children, I saw Before Midnight. I couldn’t help, but to sympathize and also sometimes to commiserate with Céline.
Céline wants to leave Jesse. And I can completely understand her. How it happens that the guy doesn’t know the name of their child’s pediatrician? A father has to be present. My husband often takes the children to the doctor, takes care of them regularly, is a great father and even though my life is filled up with work all the time. I understand when Céline says that she thought about ending her life sometimes because taking care of the twins was too much for her. I understand when she says she cried when she didn’t know what to do as a mother and that made her feel guilty. Mothers sometimes feel this way. The important thing is that sometimes a husband is there to support you and sometimes he isn’t.
She then asks Jesse if he cheated on her with a fan while on a book tour and he just admits to it. Did I understand this wrong? In the film, this seems to be quickly forgotten and forgiven. Usually, a betrayal is a big deal in a couple, so I didn’t understand the idea that this isn’t more than a detail in the film.
And finally, should Céline exchange Paris for Chicago? Should she just give up her old job and give up a new better paying job in order to accommodate Jesse? Sorry, but how can she even consider such a thing? Jesse just confessed to having cheated on her.
What Céline needs is to think of herself more often. She should look for her happiness, remind Jesse of his duties as a father, get the best paying job if this is what she wants. She should not sacrifice her happiness. She has done her share of taking care of Jesse, his son and their daughters without asking for anything in return. In the film Jesse comes to her table and promises her that things will be better for them for now on. Let him prove her he’s being honest.