Probably the most realistic of the nominations, Jesse and Celine take us into their world.
Back in 1995, we were first introduced to Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) in Before Sunrise. Nine years later came Before Sunset, when the couple reunites on the French leg of Jesse's book tour.
And now, another nine years later, the beloved couple is back for a third installment, Before Midnight, an Oscar contender that gives insight into the very real issues a relationship faces once the honeymoon phase becomes a distant memory.
After nearly two decades and two kids, here's what Jesse and Celine's love can teach us all:
1. It's true. Communication really is key.
Like any relationship, Jesse and Celine have their ups and downs. Throughout the movie you witness the couple communicate their problems. Is there yelling involved? Of course! But they sit down and talk about important life decisions together and find a solution — instead of bickering and fighting over the same issues over and over again. If you need a minute to calm down, take it, and then get your thoughts together and communicate how you feel to your significant other.
2. Don't be consumed by romantic love.
Anna, one of the guests staying in Greece with Jesse and Celine, tells a story about her great grandma who on her deathbed wrote a letter about her life. The letter states that if she could give one piece of advice it's not to be consumed by romantic love. While it's an amazing thing to have, friendships and work brought her the most happiness in her life. Live your life, and let love be something spectacular, not something you need.
3. Soul mates are as real as Santa.
On that same note, soul mates do not exist. Another guest explains that the idea of a soul mate, of you needing someone to complete you, is what fucks everything up. Makes sense, right?
4. You can't change someone.
Time and time again we feel like we can change someone into the person we want them to be. Stop! Multiple times in the movie Jesse wonders why women waste their time trying to change a man. Celine asks Jesse if he could change something about her what would it be. Trapped in a question with no win, he responds, "If I could change one thing about you, it would be for you to stop trying to change me." You can't change someone. Period. End of story.
5. It's not about the love of a single person.
Patrick says it best, "At the end of the day, it's not the love of one other person that matters, it's the love of life." If you love your life, you'll find an appreciation for everything around you. You must be the center of your own universe.
6. Your life is not a fairy tale.
Sorry for the reality check, but Before Midnight reminds us that when it comes to relationships, just do the best you can. During a heated fight, Jesse exclaims that Celine is just like everybody else, wanting to live in a fairy tale. He reminds her of all the things he does for her, but that it will never be a fairy tale. We would all do well to remember that.
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