The Velvet Café

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Archive for the ‘Before Sunset’ Category

Movie kisses are overrated – or why movie love is best when miserable

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“… and so they lived happily together for the rest of their lives.”

This was the way fairy tales used to end when I grew up, way before Disney realized that girls actually dream of other things than marriage.

Nowadays I find most love stories with happy endings quite unbearable. Is there anything more boring than to see a couple wrapped up in their own little bubble of happiness? They obviously don’t care for anything but themselves. Why should I care about them?

The movie bloggers in Sweden run a blogathon every month and the theme of February was “love”. (I suspect that the upcoming Valentines’s Day might have something to do with this).

And the more I thought about the topic, the more I realized how dark I want my love movies to be.

You have to push me hard to come up with a love movie with a happy loving couple that I truly love. I suppose there are a few in Love Actually, but my favourite one in that movie is the miserable guy who communicates his unfulfilled love with cards. Then there’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which is a bit in-between and not very clear about the prospects of the future. One of my favourite love couples in a movie last year was Only Lovers Left Alive. If you think about it, their relationship is pretty great. But their overall life situation isn’t.

So let’s have a look at my current favourite movie couples:

10. Perfect Sense
Susan and Michael fall in love. Unfortunately the world is coming to its end meanwhile. It’s just a shame that I don’t know of anyone else apart from me who has seen this film.

roman holiday
9. Roman Holiday
Joe and Princess Ann fail badly in overcoming the class divide.

8. Never Let Me Go
As if a dystopian society wasn’t enough, poor Kathy and Tommy are separated from each other because of jealousy.

7. Bright Star
Fanny Brawne and John Keats, seperated by a wall of financial issues and disease. The further away they are from each other, the more I root for them.
brief enc

6. Brief Encounter
There isn’t much physical contact between Laura and Dr Alec during their brief encounters at a railway station café. But this means that every little touch will mean something. Oh, that touch on the shoulder – immensely more erotic than any intercourse possibly could be. The impossible love is the sweetest one.


5. Brokeback Mountain
Ennis and Jack. Do I really need to say anything? Isn’t this the most heart breaking love movie ever?


4. The Bridges of Madison County
Robert and Fransesca – competing with Brokeback mountain for the title “Most tear provoking love movie ever). It’s a shame that it appears so rarely on people’s top lists.

3. Lost in Translation

I’m not entirely sure of the nature of the relationship between Charlotte and Bob, what to make of the food holding scene and exactly what words that were uttered in their final meeting. Regardless what, they’re my favourite platonic love couple evs.


2. The Remains of the Day
Miss Kenton and Mr Stevens. Every time I watch this movie I can’t help hoping that you’ll step out of your comfort zones, cross the barriers and confess your love to each other. Miracles DO happen, right?


1. Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, Before Midnight
Oh, Jessie. Oh, Celine. Unlike most couples on my top list, you aren’t doomed. Your relationship is worth saving, though it will require some effort. Please, please give it a try!

Separation, yearning, death and disaster, misery and melancholy. There you are, my favourite ingredients for love movies. And all movie kisses are overrated, unless they’re performed in a sense of danger and desperation.




Here are the takes on love in movies by my fellow bloggers (in Swedish):

Fiffis filmtajm
Fripps filmrevyer
Har du inte sett den?
The Nerd Bird
Rörliga bilder och tryckta ord

Twenty thousand leagues under the skin in 80 minutes

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beforesunsetYou know what they say about TV vs. movies. They say that the most talented writers these days write for TV shows that continue for years, high prestige series such as Breaking Bad and Mad Men where they’re allowed to stretch their writing muscles.

The audience wants to get to get closer to the characters than the movie format allows and the writers are more than willing to meet those demands, especially since a TV series is a job that lasts a great deal longer than a movie. It’s a win-win situation.

We’ve heard it so many times now, that it takes a multiple seasons and countless of hours to really get to know a fictional character, that I almost started to believe it. It was only when I watched Before Sunset that I realized how little truth there is in statements like this.

Before Sunset is 80 minutes long. Can you believe it? In one hour and twenty minutes we explore a lifetime of dreams, delusions and doubts. Not only do we see two people emotionally undress in front of each other. We go twenty thousand leagues under their skin.

If you add the previous movie, Before Sunrise, it’s still only 180 minutes or 3 hours that I’ve known Jesse and Celine and yet it feels like a lifetime.

That, my friends, is the magic that only a well-made movie can provide. It’s like the stable in the final book of Narnia: bigger on the inside than on the outside

I know I’m not alone in falling in love with this movie and that there are more people than I who eagerly are waiting to get the chance to see Before Midnight and see what has happened during the nine years that have passed since we last met the couple.

This post doesn’t add anything particular to what already has been said about this film. I just wanted to let you know that I too am a proud and loud member of the fan club.

Before Sunset (Richard Linklater, US 2004) My rating: 5/5


Written by Jessica

March 15, 2013 at 5:00 pm

Posted in Before Sunset