So what does it feel like to be with the same person for 20 years? Mostly it feels very comfortable, and I don't just mean fart on the couch next them comfortable - there is a certain ease and predictability that only comes after sharing your life with another for 20 years. I can pretty much guess Craig's moods and reactions to things now, and he can with me too.
Does that make things too predictable? Nah, no matter how long you are with a person they will always surprise you. That's another thing I have learnt in my two decades of marriage, you can never ever know a person 100%. Even when you are really comfortable and things get routine, that's probably about the time that the person you love will throw you a curve ball and the whole game will change. Some people call that 'keeping things fresh', others call it 'bullshit' and I like to call it 'oh, so that's happening now?'
One thing that I have definitely gained from being married for 20 years is resilience, because you have to ride a lot of shit out to stay together. You have to put up with annoying crap like dirty teaspoons on polished benches for the rest of your days, or squeezing the fucking toothpaste tube in the middle or some other mundane crap day after day. But you also have to weather out the tides of your life together, which means being there through sickness and death and depression and job-lessness and in Craig's case seeing babies burst out of me too - and that shit takes it toll let me tell you!
But then, you get to look at the awesome people you made together and remember how many times you both laughed together or shared a moment that no-one will ever know about but the two of you and you think....yeah this is actually pretty fricken good. This is actually very fricken good, and we really have something here...and we have had it for 20 years....and hopefully for at least another 20 more.
Release Date: 1995, 2004 and 2013
Rating: MA 15+
Running Time: 294 mins (total)
Filmed nine years apart, this trilogy documents the lives of Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy), a couple that meet in Before Sunrise, re-unite in Before Sunset and adapt to a long term relationship in the third and final instalment, Before Midnight.
This is beautifully written material, skillfully realised by Richard Linklater and perfectly delivered by Hawke and Delpy. There is very little plot to these films, they are basically an exploration of the conversations and opinions of the two protagonists as they wash over each other and try to understand one another.
Watching the same actors reunite every nine years is a treat and they really do physically and emotionally evolve with each instalment. This trilogy almost feels voyeuristic in the way that you engage with the characters in their private spaces, observing and over hearing their conversations and getting an intimate depiction of the dynamics of their lives.
The scenery is an added bonus in these movies; the first takes place in Vienna, the second in France and the third is in Greece, each country adding another layer of subtle beauty to this extremely good examination of developing relationships.
FINAL SAY: A romance of a lifetime.
4.5 Chili Peppers