Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Does a Relationship Ever Actually Change? (Certified Copy 2010)

#90-- Certified Copy (2010)

I have been married for (carry the one, twelve minus nine) 23 years, which is half of my life.  And when my wife and I married, and for the eight years before we were married, we were completely different people than we are now.  I was more stoic and aloof.  She was more carefree and had more energy.  There is much that we haven’t changed: we both still love books (we spent half of our first three months of marriage reading), we are both still introverts, I am still ambitious and she is still anti-ambitious.  But there still seems some fundamental things that have changed.

But have they really?  Are we really all that different?  The male and female protagonists of Certified Copy (Juliette Binoche, William Shimell) seem to make a radical change toward each other in the middle of the film.  Although no time has gone by, their relationship changes from courtship to married to several years.  The heat in their relationship increases.  But the issues in their relation remains the same.  They are fundamentally still the same people, with the same opinions, with the same attraction toward each other, and with the same anger at each other’s’ idiocy.   They are different people, and yet, over the years, their relationship remains oddly similar. (There are different interpretations of the film, but this is mine and I’m sticking to it.)

What if, no matter how long we lived together, we are continually rehearsing the same relationship joys and sorrows, again and again?  Perhaps each relationship is fated to be a loop, with the highs and lows repeated, with the same arguments.  Perhaps, in the worst as well as the best times, we need to re-consider our relationships before we commit to them.  Perhaps we need to ask these questions before our marriage, before our divorce: Can I live like this the rest of my life?  Can I live without this for the rest of my life?  I know for me, despite any hardships or desperate weaknesses in our relationship, I couldn’t imagine my life without her.  I can only hope she feels the same about me. 

Fun Fact: Certified Copy is a French film with a French actress, a British actor and an Iranian writer/director, Abbas Kiarostami.  Kiarostami also directed Iranian films, such as A Taste of Cherry which won the Cannes Palme D'Or of 1997.

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