' ' Cinema Romantico: 8 Couples Jesse & Celine Could Become

Friday, February 14, 2014

8 Couples Jesse & Celine Could Become

This past year found our beloved Jesse & Celine of “Before Sunrise” / “Before Sunset” morphing into wearied, acidly argumentative (non) married couple in “Before Midnight.” It was bitter cup of tea to drink (or spit out while running around screaming, waving your hands above your head). And it’s why it got me to thinking today – the most “romantic” of all days – just where their relationship could progress nine or eighteen or twenty-seven years from now in “Before Noon.”

8 Couples Jesse & Celine Could Become

Isidor & Ida Strauss, “Titanic.” 

In real life, philanthropists Isidor & Ida were an unabashedly in-love elderly couple who perished together on April 14, 1912 when Ida refused entry to a lifeboat to meet her maker alongside Isidor, saying “Where you go, I go.” Sigh. In James Cameron’s 1997 masterpiece (yeah, that's right, I said it) you might remember Mr. & Mrs. Straus as the couple laying together on the bed just out of reach of the rushing water about to consume as “Nearer My God To Thee” sets the mood. Sigh. So, could this be elderly Jesse & Celine? Meeting their fate with a final declaration of true love aboard a Royal Caribbean Cruise gone wrong? 

Odds: 95 – 1. I mean, you saw “Before Midnight”, right? 

Larry & Carol Lipton, “Manhattan Murder Mystery.” 

Jesse & Celine could move to Madrid! It could be Madrid Murder Mystery! Javier Bardem could play the Alan Alda part! Penelope Cruz could play the Anjelica Huston part! OH MY GOD, THIS NEEDS TO HAPPEN! 

 Odds: 90 – 1. This isn’t happening.

Peter & Agnes, “Bug.” 

I admit this would be a somewhat surreal direction for Jesse & Celine to take but hey, they spent damn near the whole back half of “Before Midnight” locked in a hotel room. Who’s to say next time out they don’t go mad, imagine a bug infestation and stow themselves away from the outside world? Yes, this sounds depressing, but I truly thought the end of “Before Midnight” was even more depressing. Even if Peter & Agnes were literally out of their minds, they weren't playing make believe.

Odds: 50 – 1. Remote possibility……but not that remote.

Georges & Anne, “Amour.”

I know. Believe me, I know. It’s soul crushing to envision Jesse doing that to Celine (if you’ve seen the film, you know exactly what I’m talking about). But take a deep breath, a glug of Glögg and hear me out – can’t you kinda see it ending this way for Jesse and Celine? They are loving but combative, and if you put Celine in the same position as Anne, I think she’d take it about as well. And I think Jesse would handle it about as well as George. And while some critics claimed "Amour" was all a polar vortex put-on, a mean-spirited exercise in pretend empathy, I disagreed. Ultimately I saw the way in which those in amour, probably wish they could more or less go out together, a la Johnny & June. Isn’t that a poetic thought for Jesse & Celine?

Odds: 25 - 1. 

Frank & April Wheeler, “Revolutionary Road.” 

Imagine an inverted telling of the Richard Yates novel, with Jesse & Celine living in the Paris suburbs and Jesse commuting to work every day (his latest series of novels have flopped) and Celine staying at home with the girls and, frustrated, deciding to take off for New York where Celine will work so Jesse can be free to write until……well......(weeping).

Odds: 17 - 1. 

Team Zissou (Steve & Eleanor), “The Life Aquatic.” 

“I’d like to speak on the record for a moment. Eleanor has always been the brains behind Team Zissou.” I’m not saying Jesse & Celine will begin going on oceanic expeditions and filming them, I’m merely saying that one day Jesse will admit that Celine is the brains behind Team Jesse & Celine.

Odds: 12 - 1.

David & Linda Howard, “Lost In America.” 

There is a moment in “Lost In America”, about a couple played by Albert Brooks and Julie Haggerty who discard their possessions (and eventually, erroneously, their “nest egg”) to travel the country in a Winnebago, when he says to her, “This is like ‘Easy Rider’, only now it’s our turn!” I envision Jesse saying to Celine, “This is just like ‘Lost In America’, only now it’s our turn!” And then Celine saying, “Only I’m not going to be the numbnuts who gambles away all our money.” Pithy road trip ensues. Jesse and Celine in a moment of desperation wind up working together at a Sunglasses Hut. They are forced to borrow money from their twin daughters who have formed a successful synth pop duo.   

Odds: 9 – 1. 

Alex & Anna, “New York, I Love You.” 

I admit this could potentially be getting meta, only because Ethan Hawke’s character in “New York, I Love You” is technically part of the same short as Chris Cooper’s Alex and Robin Wright’s Anna. Nevertheless, as you may recall, Alex and Anna talk each other up on the sidewalk outside a restaurant over a cigarette as if they don’t know each other. Anna keeps referencing her "husband" waiting inside and, of course, the ultimate Reveal is that her "husband" is......Alex!!! Now, if you've seen "Before Midnight", you know they choose to conclude it with Jesse and Celine having a brief bout of play-acting. So, play-acting, cigarettes, a love once bloomed now shriveled? Yeah, this looks an awful lot like where our dear Jesse & Celine may end up.

Odds: 3-1. 


Anonymous said...

What an intriguing list! You always come up w/ the most original ideas Nick, very cool!

I haven't seen the last two films in the trilogy to comment on here, but there's Chris Cooper and Robin Wright in New York, I Love You? Ok I gotta give it another shot then. I actually turned it off after about 10 min as it was so boring, they should've started w/ the Chris Cooper's segment!

Nick Prigge said...

Thanks, Ruth! I do try to make my lists exotic. I didn't really have a post idea for VD and then....suddenly this came to me. I knew it was perfect.

Yeah, "New York I Love You" was not the best film. And frankly, I'm not even sure that the Chris Cooper/Robin Wright segment is THAT great, though it's better than most of them. Still, I remember thinking of Jesse & Celine when I saw it way back when.