We wonder the first time Jesse sees Celine, how long has it been?
If it was the first time since their meeting nine years ago, surely he'd stop and drop everything to hold her, right? Well, it is the first time and no he doesn't. Linklater swiftly reassures us that this romance is grounded in reality, which is something hard to do in this genre. There's a point after they've been walking and talking for a few minutes that Jesse stops and expresses how flabbergasted he is to see her. He barely touches her arms but we know he wants to embrace her and kiss her. She makes a joke because she's probably feeling awkward. We're unsure how she really feels, yet. They continue walking back into normalcy both actors carrying the weight of time so well. Things are so much more complicated now. And Linklater writes his characters well and as the story unfolds we realize we don't know very much about Jesse and Caroline either. Though it didn't stop me from caring. Linklater slowly unravels their stories. Wants and desires are mostly secondary. Jesse made his move and was denied. "This is not our last night alive." Then she asks him about his wife... A detail we didn't really want to know either. Now she has a real reason to stay away. The dreamer and the realist; I've noticed consistently throughout this film that Celine dismisses Jesse stories as fiction. I'm writing this after noticing it when they're on the boat ride together and Jesse is speaking about Notre-Dame and the soldier who couldn't blow it up. Jesse is that soldier. Celine would have blown it up. This ties into the films major plot point, which is that Jesse wrote a book about the night they met. It's a fucking bestseller, barely. Right away she says he embellished on a few details. She says he made her seem erotic but that she wasn't... Maybe the first film is from Jesse's perspective. Because she was definitely gorgeous and attractive and she still is.