Wednesday, June 19, 2013

"Before Midnight": The Truth Behind My Excitement

I'll be perfectly honest. I never had any plans of watching "Before Sunrise" or "Before Sunset". I bought the DVDs coz they were on sale and only watched them a few weeks ago. I didn't even know that "Before Midnight" existed. I just watched the movies coz I was bored.

I didn't even know the storyline at the time and I didn't have any expectations. I didn't even know that Richard Linklater, one of my favorite moviemakers, was at the helm of it. All I knew was that my forever-crush Ethan Hawke was in it and I figured that would be enough to tide me through, even if it ended up sucking.

The minute "Before Sunrise" started, though, I fell in love with it. With the setting, the dialogue, the actors, the wit, and the storyline. While it isn't my usual type of movie, I loved it because I could relate to it. In every sense of the phrase.

In summer 2008, I, too, met someone on a train. I was on a day-long train to Koh Phangan where I met an Englishman named Stephen. We spent a sleepless night on that train watching the moon and just talking - with the same wit and charm found in both Jesse and Celine, I might add. I never deemed that experience as movie material in my head. But then I literally saw it in a movie and my heart relived everything all over again.

I remember the excitement that I felt in my heart upon the newness of meeting someone that I could connect with on every level so unexpectedly, and I remember how it felt not wanting to sleep and to just keep talking to him forever and ever and ever, hoping deep down inside that he felt the same way, too.

I remember wanting to kiss him but not wanting to make the first move because I didn't know how he felt and I didn't know what I was feeling, for that matter. Plus, I didn't know anything about him on a deeper level and he didn't know anything about me on a deeper level. He was just a tall ball of mystery and refreshing grumpiness. With a sexy English accent.

While we did eventually kiss, we didn't have sex. And since this happened in 2008 instead of in the 90's, you know... We had Facebook and Skype and we definitely kept in touch. Not as romantically sad as Jesse and Celine's story in that aspect, but still.

2008 was my summer of love, hopes and dreams. The love, hope and dreams that only a woman in her early 20s could experience. In 2009, I got pregnant and those hopes and dreams slowly changed into new motherhood-related ones.

My "Before Sunset" moment happened in 2011 when I went to Ireland on a whim. Since he's from the UK, we set up a meeting. Again, we didn't have much time together.

Like Jesse, I already had a kid by that time and I was living with a man I couldn't trust - the father of my child. Stephen had just broken up with his long-term girlfriend and there I was: a torn, worried and scared lovewreck who felt all of those early-20 emotions flood back the moment she set eyes on her big what-if. Suffice to say, I panicked.

While we spent one of the most memorable days of my life literally walking through the entirety of Dublin (we literally went around the entirety of it) just talking - with the same wit and charm that we had in 2008. It's funny that my most memorable bit about that day in Ireland is of us sitting on a bench in the park. Literally the only thing missing to turn us into Jesse and Celine that day was a boat ride.

Our park. My Jesse.

"Before Sunrise", "Before Sunset" and "Before Midnight" are all around a decade apart. My own story? Three years apart so far. This means that, if my life goes according to movie, I should be seeing Stephen somewhere next year. And, to be honest, I know exactly how I want our story to go.

This is why I am so excited for "Before Midnight". I know the answer that I want to hear for "Will Jesse and Celine end up together?" because I have experienced something similar myself. In other words, I want to see if my own visions for my own Jesse-and-Celine life story will match the movie.

I really cannot stress how much I think the way they think and how much I feel the way they feel. I just hope to God this movie doesn't disappoint me. And I hope to God Stephen never, ever reads this...

Are you almost as excited for "Before Midnight" as I am? Then make sure you like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter and Instagram: b4midnightph :)


  1. OMG! This is the best blog i have ever this year. It is my most favorite sequels off all time and it is surprising to know that there has been a similarity on your story. I wanna be your friend in FB if thats okay add me Martha Yoo Lette. I am so excited about Before Midnight too, really really so excited 100%.

  2. i can relate. these movies are waaaay over standard movies i've seen. sana nga mahawa ang pinoy sa gaitong klaseng movie making. the series is so relatable. it gives emphasis sa magic ng connections - soulmates, almost. di ko akalain na maiinlove ako sa pelikulang (almost) pure dialogues lang pero BOOM i have no choice but to love the series. everyone one of us ay merong jesse at celine within us - i just hope everyone of us will have a happy ending (though i am expecting a cliffhanger ending from before midnight, hehe). nice blog btw.

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  4. Yes. Love is magic. It just happens and you don't ask why. You can't analyze why a person so young will choose to spend a whole six hours with you just talking. You don't even need to touch to feel connected. I haven't seen any of the first two movies, but I can relate to the circumstances by which two people fall in love. So, I will get myself a copy of the two movies, and see the third one - hoping to relive that magical feeling again...

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