Before Sunrise: “She Was Literally a Botticelli Angel”


(Scene clip: Jesse and Céline sitting at a table, with platters from coffee on the table in front of them, finished.)

Céline: Okay, now I'm going to call my best friend in Paris, who I'm supposed to have lunch with in eight hours. Okay?

Jesse: (Nods.) Okay.

Céline: (With her hands mimicking a telephone, lifting it off the base, and putting it to her ear.) Dring-Dring. Dring-Dring. Dring-Dring. Pick up!

Jesse: What?

Céline: Pick up the phone!

Jesse: (Also mimics a phone with his hand, puts it up to his ear.) Oh, hello?

Céline: Allo?

Jesse: Mm-hmm.

Céline: Vanie? Ici Celine, hein?

Jesse: Ahh...

Céline: Comment ça-va?

Jesse: (Wide open eyes, then recognition.) Ca va…bien. Et toi?

Céline: Vanie, ma vacation est incroyable!

Jesse: Ahhh...y' -a- I- you know, I've been working on my English, recently, w- y'want to talk in English?

Céline: Yeah, okay, that's a good idea. Ummm...I don't think I'm gonna be able to make it for lunch today, I'm sorry. I...I met a guy on the train, and I got off with him in Vienna. We're still there.

Jesse: Are you crazy? (Playing the role.)

Céline: Probably.

Jesse: We...wa...he's Austrian, he's from there?

Céline: N-n-n-n-no. He's passing through here too. He's American. He's going back home tomorrow morning.

Jesse: (Mocking a shocked expression.) Why'd you get off the train with him?

Céline: Well...he convinced me. Well, actually I was...(smiles) I was ready to get off the train with him after talking to him a short while. He was so sweet, I couldn't help it. We were in the lounge car, and he began to talk about him, as a little boy, seeing his great-grandmother's ghost. I think that's when I fell for him. Just the idea of this little boy with all those beautiful dreams. He TRAPPED me.

Jesse: Mm-hmm. (Emphatically.)

Céline: And he's so cute! He has beautiful blue eyes (Jesse closes his eyes), nice big lips (Jesse sucks in his lips to hide them), greasy hair. (Laughs.) I love it. He's kind of tall, and a little clumsy. (Softly.) I like to feel his eyes on me when I look away. (Pauses, then smiles while Jesse fixes his eyes on her.) He kind of kisses like an adolescent, it‘s so cute.

Jesse: (Indignantly.) What?!

Céline: Yeah, we kissed. It was so adorable. As the night went on, I began to like him more and more. But I'm afraid he's scared of me. You know, I told him the story about the woman that kills her ex-boyfriend, and stuff. He must be scared to death. (Jesse begins to shake his head, slowly.) He must be thinking I'm this manipulative, mean woman. I just hope he doesn't feel that way about me, because you know me, I'm the most harmless person. The only person I could really hurt is myself.

Jesse: I don't think he's scared of you. I think he's crazy about you.

Céline: Really?

Jesse: I mean, I've known you a long time, and I got a good feeling. You gonna see him again?

Céline: We haven't talked about that yet. (Pauses. “Hangs up.”) Okay it‘s your turn. You call your friend.

Jesse: Uh...

Céline: Okay?

Jesse: (Hangs up phone, too.) Alright, alright. Umm...(Thinks.) Uh, (Picks up 'phone', puts to ear.) Bring-Bring-Bring. Uh, I usually get this guys answering machine. Brawwwwwwng.

Céline: (Picks up 'phone', mimics American accent.) Hi dude, what's up?

Jesse: Uhhhh...Hey Frank, how you been? Glad you're home.

Céline: Cool. Yeah. So, how was Madrid?

Jesse: Uh, Madrid...SUCKED. You know, Lisa and I had our long-overdue meltdown.

Céline: Oh. Too bad. I told you, no?

Jesse: Yeah, yeah, yeah. The long-distance thing just never works. I was only in Madrid for a couple of days. I got a cheaper flight, out of Vienna...but uh, you know, it really wasn't that much cheaper. I just uh...I couldn't go home right away. I didn't want to see anybody I knew, I just wanted to be a ghost. Completely anonymous.

Céline: So are you okay, now?

Jesse: Yeah. Yeah, no, no, yeah, I'm great, I'm great! That's the thing, I'm...I'm rapturous. And I'll tell you why. I met somebody. On my last night in Europe, can you believe that?

Céline: Ah, that's incredible.

Jesse: I know, I know. And you know how they say we're all each others' demons and angels? Well, she was literally a Botticelli angel. Just telling me that everything was gonna be okay.

Céline: How did you meet?

Jesse: On the train. Yeah, she was sitting next to this very weird couple who started fighting so she had to move. She sat right across the aisle from me. So, we started to talk, and uh, she didn't like me much at first. She's super smart (Celine shifts uneasily), very passionate, um...and beautiful (Celine looks down, embarrassed). And I was so unsure of myself. I thought everything I said sounded so stupid.

Céline: Oh, man, I wouldn't worry about that.

Jesse: No...

Céline: No, I'm sure she was not judging you. No...and by the way, she sat next to you, no? I'm sure she did it on purpose.

Jesse: Oh, Yeah?

Céline: Yeah. Us men are so stupid. We don't understand anything about women.

Jesse: Mm-hmm.

Céline: They act kind of strange. The little I know of them. Don't they?

Jesse: (Pauses, then nods.) Yeah.


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