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Nine years after Jesse and Celine first met, they encounter each other again on the French leg of Jesse's book tour.
Celine: You can never replace anyone because everyone is made up of such beautiful specific details.
Celine: Memory is a wonderful thing if you don't have to deal with the past.
Jesse: Life's hard. It's supposed to be. If we didn't suffer, we'd never learn anything.
[last lines] Celine: Baby, you are gonna miss that plane. Jesse: I know.
Celine: [Celine's song] Let me sing you a waltz / Out of nowhere, out of my thoughts / Let me sing you a waltz / About this one night stand / You were, for me, that night / Everything I always dreamt of in life / But now you're gone / You are far gone / All the way to your island of rain / It was for you just a one night thing / But you were much more to me, just so you know / I don't care what they say / I know what you meant for me that day / I just want another try, I just want another night / Even if it doesn't seem quite right / You meant for me much more than anyone I've met before / One single night with you, little Jesse, is worth a thousand with anybody / I have no bitterness, my sweet / I'll never forget this one night thing / Even tomorrow in other arms, my heart will stay yours until I die / Let me sing you a waltz / Out of nowhere, out of my blues / Let me sing you a waltz / About this lovely one night stand
Jesse: 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.
Celine: Even being alone it's better than sitting next to your lover and feeling lonely.
Jesse: 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?
Celine: I see it in the people that do the real work, and what's sad in a way is that the people that are the most giving, hardworking, and capable of making this world better, usually don't have the ego and ambition to be a leader.
Celine: 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.
Jesse: I feel like if someone were to touch me, I'd dissolve into molecules.
Celine: The concept is absurd. The idea that we can only be complete with another person is evil! Right?
Celine: There are so many things I want to do, but I end up doing not much.
Jesse: 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.
Jesse: 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?
Jesse: Do you have kids? Celine: Yes, two - [gasps] Celine: Shit! Jesse: What? Celine: I left them in the car! With the windows rolled up! It was six months ago! Think they're okay? [laughs]
Celine: 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.
Celine: Memories are wonderful things, if you don't have to deal with the past.
Celine: Do you think you would have finished your book if you were fucking someone every five minutes? Jesse: I might have welcomed the challenge.
Jesse: 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.
Jesse: 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: [laughing] 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.
Celine: I was having this awful nightmare that I was 32. And then I woke up and I was 23. So relieved. And then I woke up for real, and I was 32.
Celine: Do I look any different? [long pause] Celine: I do? Jesse: I'd have to see you naked.
Celine: They enjoy the goal but not the process. But the reality of it is that the true work of improving things is in the little achievements of the day.
Jesse: 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.
Celine: 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?
Jesse: 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.
Celine: Were you there in Vienna, in December?
Jesse: 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: [laughing] Okay, that's funny.
[first lines] Journalist #1: Do you consider the book to be autobiographical? Jesse: Uh, well, I mean... isn't everything autobiographical?
Celine: It's amazing what perverts we've become in the past nine years.
Celine: 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...
Celine: 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: [laughing] Yeah, after I had been raped and killed about 10 times.
Jesse: I'm designed to feel slightly dissatisfied!
Jesse: 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.
Celine: 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: [laughing] 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: [laughing] I'm sorry, okay?
Jesse: [about his marriage] I feel like I'm running a small nursery with someone I used to date.
Celine: So what's it like to be married? You haven't talked much about that. Jesse: I haven't? How weird.
Celine: I love my kitty! Jesse: What's his name? Celine: Che. Jesse: Che? Celine: Mmm hmm. Jesse: Uh huh... Celine: What? Jesse: Commie.
Jesse: 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.
Jesse: 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: No. [Both Laugh] 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.
Jesse: [describing how she looks different] Skinnier, I think. A little thinner. Celine: Did you think I was fat before? Jesse: [laughing] 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: [laughing] Oh, no... Jesse: Seriously, all right, you look beautiful.