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: Do I look any different?
: I do? Jesse
: I'd have to see you naked.
: In the months leading up to my wedding, I was thinking about you all the time. I mean, even on my way there; I'm in the car, a buddy of mine is driving me downtown and I'm staring out the window, and I think I see you, not far from the church, right? Folding up an umbrella and walking into a deli on the corner of 13th and Broadway. And I thought I was going crazy, but now I think it probably was you. Celine
: I lived on 11th and Broadway. Jesse
: You see?
] Journalist #1
: Do you consider the book to be autobiographical? Jesse
: Uh, well, I mean... isn't everything autobiographical?
: Baby, you are gonna miss that plane. Jesse
: I know.
: [about his marriage
] I feel like I'm running a small nursery with someone I used to date.
: I'm designed to feel slightly dissatisfied!
: Okay, I realize there are a lot of serious problems in the world. Celine
: Okay, thank you. Jesse
: Okay. I mean, I don't even have one publisher in the whole Asian market.
: An imperialist country can use that kind of thinking to justify their economic greed, you know. I - human rights... Jesse
: Is there any particular imperialist country you have in mind, there, Frenchie? Celine
: Mmm, no, not really...
: Maybe what I'm saying is, is the world might be evolving the way a person evolves. Right? Like, I mean, me for example. Am I getting worse? Am I improving? I don't know. When I was younger, I was healthier, but I was, uh, whacked with insecurity, you know? Now I'm older and my problems are deeper, but I'm more equipped to handle them.
: One night I heard some noise on my fire excape, so I called 911. And the cops came eventually... Jesse
: Yeah like three hours later. Celine
] Yeah, after I had been raped and killed about 10 times.
: [describing how she looks different
] Skinnier, I think. A little thinner. Celine
: Did you think I was fat before? Jesse
] No! Celine
: Yeah, you thought I was a fatty. No, you thought I was a fatty! Yeah, you, you wrote a book about a fat French girl! Jesse
: No, listen... Celine
] Oh, no... Jesse
: Seriously, all right, you look beautiful.
: Life's hard. It's supposed to be. If we didn't suffer, we'd never learn anything.
: At least now we don't have to pretend that each new sexual experience is a life-altering event. Celine
: I know. By now, you know, you've stuck it in so many places, it's like about to fall off. Jesse
: Yeah, you know, and I can't realistically expect that you've become anything but a total ho, at this point. Celine
: Yeah, thank you.
: So what kind of songs do you write? I didn't know you did that. Celine
: What kind? Jesse
: Yeah, sure. Celine
: I don't know, just songs. Jesse
: Like? Celine
: Like, some are about, you know, people, uh, relationships. One's about my cat. Jesse
: Sing one. Celine
: No, I can't, I don't have a guitar. Jesse
: Oh, co- come on. A cappella. Celine
: No, no, no. I'm not singing a song without a guitar. You're nuts! Jesse
: Why not? It's... Celine
: No, okay. Not now. No. Jesse
: One. Celine
: No. Jesse
: If not now, when? Wanna meet here in six months with a guitar? You know, I'll fly all the way over here, you may or may not make the metro... Celine
] Okay, that's funny.
: Do you have kids? Celine
: Yes, two -
: Shit! Jesse
: What? Celine
: I left them in the car! With the windows rolled up! It was six months ago! Think they're okay?
: Tell him to pick you up at Quai Henri Quatre. Jesse
: Oh, shit. K-kay... Celine
: Henri Quatre. Quai... Jesse
: K-k-k... Celine
: Henri Quatre. Jesse
] On... Celine
: What's wrong with you? No, do you want be to - Henri Quatre. Jesse
: Henry Four? Celine
: Yes. Jesse
: Come one, why didn't you say so. Celine
] I'm sorry, okay?
: I heard this story once about when the Germans were occupying Paris and they had to retreat back. They wired Notre Dame to blow, but they had to leave one guy in charge of hitting the switch. And the guy, the soldier, he couldn't do it. You know, he just sat there, knocked out by how beautiful the place was. And then when the allied troops came in, they found all the explosives just lying there and the switch unturned, and they found the same thing at Sacre Couer, Eiffel Tower. Couple other places I think... Celine
: Is that true? Jesse
: I don't know. I always liked the story, though.
: You want to know why I wrote that stupid book? Celine
: Why? Jesse
: So that you might come to a reading in Paris and I could walk up to you and ask, "Where the fuck were you?" Celine
] No - you thought I'd be here today? Jesse
: I'm serious. I think I wrote it, in a way, to try to find you. Celine
: Okay, that's - I know that's not true, but that's sweet of you to say. Jesse
: I think it is true.
: What do you think were the chances of us ever meeting again? Celine
: After that December, I'd say almost zero. But we're not real anyway, right? We're just, uh, characters in that old lady's dream. She's on her deathbed, fantasizing about her youth. So of course we had to meet again.
: Oh, God, why weren't you there, in Vienna? Celine
: I told you why. Jesse
: Well, I know why, I just - I wish you would have been. Our lives might have been so much different. Celine
: You think so? Jesse
: I actually do. Celine
: Maybe not. Maybe, we would have hated each other eventually. Jesse
: Oh what, like we hate each other now? Celine
: You know, maybe we're - we're only good at brief encounters, walking around in European cities in warm climate.
: Oh, God, why didn't we exchange phone numbers and stuff? Why didn't we do that? Celine
: Because we were young and stupid. Jesse
: Do you think we still are? Celine
: I guess when you're young, you just believe there'll be many people with whom you'll connect with. Later in life, you realize it only happens a few times. Jesse
: And you can screw it up, you know, misconnect.
: The past is the past. It was meant to be that way. Jesse
: What, you really believe that? That everything's fated? Celine
: Well, you know, the world might be less free than we think. Jesse
: Yeah? Celine
: Yeah, when given these exact circumstances, that's what will happen every time: two part hydrogen, one part oxygen, you get water every time. Jesse
: No, no, I - I - I mean what if your grandmother had lived a week longer, or, you know, or passed away a week earlier, days even. You know things might have been different. I believe that. Celine
: You can't think like that, it's... Jesse
: No, I mean, I know you shouldn't on most things, but - It's just, on this one it seemed like something was off, you know?
: So what's it like to be married? You haven't talked much about that. Jesse
: I haven't? How weird.
: I feel like if someone were to touch me, I'd dissolve into molecules.
: So, I want to try something. Jesse
: What? Celine
: [hugs him
] I want to see if you stay together or if you dissolve into molecules. Jesse
: How'm I doing? Celine
: Still here. Jesse
: Good, I like being here.
: I love my kitty! Jesse
: What's his name? Celine
: Che. Jesse
: Che? Celine
: Mmm hmm. Jesse
: Uh huh... Celine
: What? Jesse
: Do you think you would have finished your book if you were fucking someone every five minutes? Jesse
: I might have welcomed the challenge.
: Do you believe in, like... ghosts or spirits? Celine
: Uhm, no. Jesse
: No? Celine
: No. Jesse
: Ok, what about reincarnation? Celine
: Not at all. Jesse
: God? Celine
: That sounds... that sounds terrible. No, no, no. But, at the same time I don't wanna be one of those people that don't believe in any kind of magic, you know? Jesse
: So then, astrology. Celine
: Yes, of course! Jesse
: There we go, right! Celine
: I mean, that makes sense, right? You're a Scorpio, I'm a Sag, so we get along.
: Men go out with me, we break up and then they get married. And later they call me to thank me for teaching them what love is. That I tought them to care and respect women. Jesse
: I think I'm one of those guys. Celine
: I wanna kill them! Why didn't they ask me to marry them? I would've said no, but at least they could have asked.
: You know, I think that book that I wrote, in a way, was like building something. So that I wouldn't forget the... details of the time that we spent together. You know, like just a reminder that... that once we really did meet! You know, that this was real! That this happened! Celine
: Celine: I'm happy you're saying that, because... I mean, I always feel like a freak, because I'm never able to move on like... this! You know. People just have an affair, or even entire relationships... they break up and they forget! They move on like they would have changed brand of cereals! I feel I was never able to forget anyone I've been with. Because each person have... their own, specific qualities. You can never replace anyone. What is lost is lost. Each relationship, when it ends, really damages me. I never fully recover. That's why I'm very careful with getting involved, because... It hurts too much! Even getting laid! I actually don't do that... I will miss on the other person the most mundane things. Like I'm obsessed with little things. Maybe I'm crazy, but... when I was a little girl, my mom told me that I was always late to school. One day she followed me to see why. I was looking at chestnuts falling from the trees, rolling on the sidewalk, or... ants crossing the road, the way a leaf casts a shadow on a tree trunk... Little things. I think it's the same with people. I see in them little details, so specific to each of them, that move me, and that I miss, and... will always miss. You can never replace anyone, because everyone is made of such beautiful specific details. Like I remember the way, your beard has a bit of red in it. And how the sun was making it glow, that... that morning, right before you left. I remember that, and... I missed it! I'm really crazy, right?
: Maybe what I'm saying is the world might be evolving the way a person evolves. Right? Like, me for example. Am I getting worse? Am I improving? I don't know. When I was younger, I was healthier, but I was whacked with insecurity. Now I'm older and my problems are deeper, but I'm more equipped to handle them.
: I'm designed to feel slightly dissatisfied.
: Life's hard. It's supposed to be. If we didn't suffer, we wouldn't learn a thing.
: You realize that most of the people that you meet are trying to get somewhere better, they're trying to make a little bit more cash, trying to get a little more respect, have more people admire them. It's just exhausting.
: I don't have any permanent place here. You know, in eternity, or whatever. And the more I think that, I can't go through life saying that this is no big deal. I mean, this is it! This is actually happening. What do you think is interesting, what do you think is funny, what do you think is important? You know, every day is our last.
: I have this idea of my best self, and I wanted to pursue that even if it might have been overriding my honest self.
: In the moment I remember thinking that it didn't much matter the "Who" of it all. Nobody is gonna be everything to you, and that ultimately it's just a simple action of committing yourself, meeting your responsibilities that matters.
: What is love, if it's not respect, trust, admiration? And I felt all those things. So cut to the present tense: I feel like I'm running a small nursery with somebody I used to date.
: I feel like if someone were to touch me, I'd dissolve into molecules.
: We're just living in a pretense of a marriage responsibility, and all these ideas of how people are supposed to live.
: There's gotta be something more to love than commitment.
: Sometimes I dream about being a good father and a good husband. And sometimes it feels really close. But then other times it seems silly like it would ruin my whole life. And it's not just a fear of commitment or that I'm incapable of caring or loving because... I can. It's just that, if I'm totally honest with myself I think I'd rather die knowing that I was really good at something. That I had excelled in some way than that I'd just been in a nice, caring relationship.
: You know what I want? Jesse
: What? Celine
: To be kissed. Jesse
: Well I can do that.
: Everybody's parents fucked them up. Rich kids parents gave them too much. Poor kids, not enough. You know, too much attention, not enough attention. They either left them or they stuck around and taught them the wrong things.
: I don't know, I think that if I could just accept the fact that my life is supposed to be difficult. You know, that's what to be expected, then I might not get so pissed-off about it and I'll just be glad when something nice happens.
: You know what's the worst thing about somebody breaking up with you? It's when you remember how little you thought about the people you broke up with and you realize that is how little they're thinking of you. You know, you'd like to think you're both in all this pain but they're just like "Hey, I'm glad you're gone".
: There's these breeds of monkeys, right, and all they do is have sex, all the time, you know? And they turn out to be the least violent, the most peaceful, the most happy, you know? So maybe fooling around isn't so bad. Celine
: Are you talking about monkeys? Jesse
: Yes I'm talking about monkeys. Celine
: Ah, I thought so...
: Do you believe in reincarnation? Celine
: Yeah. Yeah, it's interesting. Jesse
: Yeah, right. Well, most people, you know, a lot of people talk about past lives and things like that, you know? And even if they don't believe it in some specific way, you know, people have some kind of notion of an eternal soul, right?
: Yeah. Jesse
: OK, well this was my thought: 50,000 years ago, there are not even a million people on the planet. 10,000 years ago, there's, like, two million people on the planet. Now there's between five and six billion people on the planet, right? Now, if we all have our own, like, individual, unique soul, right, where do they all come from? You know, are modern souls only a fraction of the original souls? 'Cause if they are, that represents a 5,000 to 1 split of each soul in the last 50,000 years, which is, like, a blip in the Earth's time. You know, so at best we're like these tiny fractions of people, you know, walking... I mean, is that why we're so scattered? You know, is that why we're all so specialized? Celine
: I don't know. Wait a minute, I'm not sure... I don't... Jesse
: Yeah, hang on, hang on. It's a, it's a totally scattered thought. It... which is kind of why it makes sense.
: Maybe we should meet here in five years or something. Jesse
: All right, all right, five year- Five years! That's a long time! Celine
: It's awful! It's like a sociological experiment!
: Why is it, that a dog, sleeping in the sun, is so beautiful, y'know, it is, it's beautiful, but a guy, standing at a bank machine, trying to take some money out, looks like a complete moron?
: Alright, I have an admittedly insane idea, but if I don't ask you this it's just, uh, you know, it's gonna haunt me the rest of my life Celine
: What? Jesse
: Um... I want to keep talking to you, y'know. I have no idea what your situation is, but, uh, but I feel like we have some kind of, uh, connection. Right? Celine
: Yeah, me too. Jesse
: Yeah, right, well, great. So listen, so here's the deal. This is what we should do. You should get off the train with me here in Vienna, and come check out the capital. Celine
: What? Jesse
: Come on. It'll be fun. Come on. Celine
: What would we do? Jesse
: Umm, I don't know. All I know is I have to catch an Austrian Airlines flight tomorrow morning at 9:30 and I don't really have enough money for a hotel, so I was just going to walk around, and it would be a lot more fun if you came with me. And if I turn out to be some kind of psycho, you know, you just get on the next train. Jesse
: Alright, alright. Think of it like this: jump ahead, ten, twenty years, okay, and you're married. Only your marriage doesn't have that same energy that it used to have, y'know. You start to blame your husband. You start to think about all those guys you've met in your life and what might have happened if you'd picked up with one of them, right? Well, I'm one of those guys. That's me y'know, so think of this as time travel, from then, to now, to find out what you're missing out on. See, what this really could be is a gigantic favor to both you and your future husband to find out that you're not missing out on anything. I'm just as big a loser as he is, totally unmotivated, totally boring, and, uh, you made the right choice, and you're really happy. Celine
: Let me get my bag.
: Did your parents divorce? Jesse
: Yeah. Finally. They should have done it a lot sooner, but they stuck together for a while for the "well-being of my sister and I", thank you very much.
: You know, I've been wondering lately. Do you know anyone who's in a happy relationship? Jesse
: Uh, yeah, sure. I know happy couples. But I think they lie to each other. Celine
: Hmf. Yeah. People can lead their life as a lie. My grandmother, she was married to this man, and I always thought she had a very simple, uncomplicated love life. But she just confessed to me that she spent her whole life dreaming about another man she was always in love with. She just accepted her fate. It's so sad. Jesse
: I guarantee you, it was better that way. If she'd ever got to know him, I'm sure he would have disappointed her eventually. Celine
: How do you know? You don't know them. Jesse
: Yeah, I know, I know. It's just, people have these romantic projections they put on everything. That's not based on any kind of reality.
: I mean, just once, I'd love to see, some little old lady save up all her money, to go to the fortune teller, and she'd get there, all excited about hearing her future, and the woman would say, "Um-humm. Tomorrow, and all your remaining days will be exactly like today. A tedious collection of hours. And you will have no new passions, and no new thoughts and no new travels, and when you die, you'll be completely forgotten.
: Well, I was driving around with this buddy of mine, he was a big atheist, and we came to a stop, next to this homeless guy. And my buddy takes out a 100 dollar bill, and leans out the window, and he says, "Do you believe in God?". And the guy looks at my friend, and he looks at the money, he says, uh, "Yes, I do". My friend says, "Wrong answer", and we drove away.
: Yeah. So, uh, were we having our first fight back there? Celine
: v Jesse
: Yeah, I think so, I think we were. Celine
: Well, even if we were a little bit, y'know. Why does everyone think conflict is so bad. There's a lot of good things coming out of conflict.
: You know what drives me crazy? It's all these people talking about how great technology is, and how it saves all this time. But, what good is saved time, if nobody uses it? If it just turns into more busy work. You never hear somebody say, "With the time I've saved by using my word processor, I'm gonna go to a Zen monastery and hang out". I mean, you never hear that.
: I kind of see this all love as this, escape for two people who don't know how to be alone. People always talk about how love is this totally unselfish, giving thing, but if you think about it, there's nothing more selfish.
: I feel like this is, uh, some dream world we're in, y'know. Celine
: Yeah, it's so weird. It's like our time together is just ours. It's our own creation. It must be like I'm in your dream, and you in mine, or something. Jesse
: And what's so cool is that this whole evening, all our time together, shouldn't officially be happening. Celine
: Yeah, I know. Maybe that's why this feels so otherworldly.
: This friend of mine had a kid, and it was a home birth, so he was there helping out and everything. And he said at that profound moment of birth, he was watching this child, experiencing life for the first time, I mean, trying to take its first breath... all he could think about was that he was looking at something that was gonna die someday. He just couldn't get it out of his head. And I think that's so true, I mean, all - everything is so finite. But don't you think that that's what, makes our time, at specific moments, so important? Celine
: Yeah, I know. It's the same for us, tonight, though. After tomorrow morning, we're probably never going to see each other again, right? Celine
: We, maybe we should try something different. I mean, it's no so bad if tonight is our only night, right? People always exchange phone numbers, addresses, they end up writing once, calling each other once or twice... Jesse
: Right. Fizzles out. Yeah, I mean, I don't want that. I hate that. Celine
: I hate that too, y'know. Jesse
: Why do you think everybody thinks relationships are supposed to last forever anyway? Celine
: Yeah, why. It's stupid.
: I'm having kind of an odd situation here, which is that... is... you see that girl over there? Yeah, well, this is our only night together. Here's the problem: The problem is that she wants a bottle of red wine, and I don't have any money. I was thinking that you might want to, um, give me the address of this bar, no, I know... and I would promise to send you the money, and you would make our night complete Bartender
: You would send me the money? Jesse
: Yes. Bartender
: Your hand? Bartender
: Okay. For the greatest night in your life. Jesse
: Thank you very much
: I know what you mean about wishing somebody wasn't there, though. It's just usually it's myself that I wish I could get away from. Seriously, think about this. I have never been anywhere that I haven't been. I've never had a kiss when I wasn't one of the kissers. Y'know, I've never, um, gone to the movies, when I wasn't there in the audience. I've never been out bowling, if I wasn't there, y'know making some stupid joke. I think that's why so many people hate themselves. Seriously, it's just they are sick to death of being around themselves. Jesse
: Let's say that you and I were together all the time, then you'd start to hate a lot of my mannerisms. The way every time we would have people over, uh, I'd be insecure, and I'd get a little too drunk. Or, uh, the way I'd tell the same stupid pseudo-intellectual story again, and again. Y'see, I've heard all those stories. So of course I'm sick of myself. But being with you, uh, it's made me feel like I'm somebody else.
: Listen, if somebody gave me the choice right now, of to never see you again or to marry you, alright, I would marry you, alright. And maybe that's a lot of romantic bullshit, but people have gotten married for a lot less. Celine
: Actually, I think I had decided I wanted to sleep with you when we got off the train. But now that we've talked so much, I don't know anymore. Celine
: Why do I make everything so complicated?
: [stops Celine and positions her in front of him at arm's length
: What? Jesse
: Uh... I'm gonna take your picture. So I never forget you or, uh, or all this. Celine
: Okay. Me too.
: Would you be in Paris by now, if you hadn't gotten off the train with me? Celine
: No not yet. What would you be doing? Jesse
: I'd probably be hanging around the airport, reading old magazines, crying in my coffee cause you didn't come with me. Celine
: Aww... Actually, I think I'd probably have gotten off the train in Salzburg with someone else. Jesse
: Oh, yeah? Oh, I see. So, I'm just that dumb American momentarily decorating your blank canvas. Celine
: I'm having a great time. Jesse
: Really? Celine
: Yeah. Jesse
: Me too.
: I don't think we should sleep together. I mean, I want to, but since we're never gonna see each other again, it will make me feel bad. I'll wonder who else you're with. I'll miss you. Celine
: I know. It's not very adult. Maybe it's a female thing. I can't help it. Jesse
: Let's see each other again.
: I wish I'd meet you earlier. I really like talking to you.
: I can never get very excited about other people ambitions for my life.
: Its just... its depressing, no? That the... the only thing we're gonna think of is when we're gonna have to say goodbye tomorrow. Jesse
: Well, we could say goodbye now. Then we wouldn't have to worry about it in the morning.
: You are the fucking mayor of Crazytown, do you know that? You are!
: I fucked up my whole life because of the way you sing.
: I feel close to you. Jesse
: Yeah? Celine
: But sometimes, I don't know? I feel like you're breathing helium and I'm breathing oxygen. Jesse
: [high pitched voice
] What makes you say that?
: I am giving you my whole life ok? I got nothing larger to give, I'm not giving it to anybody else. If you're looking for permission to disqualify me, I'm not gonna give it to you. Ok? I love you. And I'm not in conflict about it. Okay? But if what you want is like a laundry list of all the things that piss me off, I can give it to you. Celine
: Yeah, I want to hear. Jesse
: Okay well, number 1, you're fucking nuts! You are. Good luck! Find somebody else to put up with your shit for more than like 6 months okay? But I, accept the whole package, the crazy and the brilliant. I know you're not gonna change and I don't want you to. It's called accepting you for being you.
: You're just like the little girls and everybody else. You wanna live inside some fairy tale. I'm just trying to make things better. I tell you that I love you unconditionally, I tell you that you're beautiful, I tell you that your ass looks great when you're 80. I try to make you laugh. Celine
: Ok. Jesse
: All right, I put up with plenty of your shit. And if you think I'm just some dog who's gonna keep coming back, then you're wrong. But if you want true love, then this is it. This is real life. It's not perfect, but it's real. And if you can't see it, then you're blind, all right, and I give up.
: ...we don't have to spend our lives comparing ourselves to Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Tolstoy... Jesse
: What about Joan of Arc, right, she was a teenager and she saved France, so... Celine
: Who wants to be Joan of Arc? Forget France, she was burnt at the stake and a virgin, okay. Nothing I aspired to. What a great achievement.
: Now I know why Sylvia Plath put her head in a toaster! Jesse
: It was an oven.
: If you want love, then this is it. This is real life. It's not perfect but it's real.
: [His dad texted him that his grandmother died
] Anyway, so I called my dad, right, after I got the text, just, you know to tell him I was sorry but I think I got screwed up at some point said... Hey dad you're an orphan now. I don't think it was funny. Not funny at all.
: You know what? The only time I get to think now is when I take a shit at the office. I'm starting to associate thoughts with the smell of shit. Jesse
: Ha ha. That is a good line. I gonna use that in a book some day. Celine
: I'm sure you will. And that'll be the best line in the book.
: You like to have sex, the exact same way, evvvvvvery time. Jesse
: When you got it, you got it. Celine
: Kissy kissy, titty titty, pussy
: I'm a man of simple pleasures.
: I've been thinking also about something you said. Jesse
: What's that? Celine
: Just about reincarnation and where all the new souls come through over time. Everybody says they have been the reincarnation of Cleopatra or Alexander The Great. I always want to tell them they were probably some dumb fuck like everybody else.