It starts on a train bound to Vienna.
It’s a nice train. The setting is cosy. Trains are romantic. They tend to be comfortable and can take you to foreign cities. There’s also a comedy element. Our two main characters see and hear a couple argue in a language they can’t really understand.
I love how they the young man and the young woman are drawn to each other, eager (the guy more obviously so) to talk and curious about each other. Nervous, but oh so hopeful. They’re no longer alone.
Then there is the ‘crazy’ proposition. He asks her to get off the train with him in Vienna and spend the rest of the day and probably night together.
I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that she agrees, if somewhat reluctantly.
I love how the entire movie is just them talking.
Cause I love talking to someone who’s engaging, to discover what they like and don’t like, what they care about, what shaped them, what they hold dear, etc.
This movie is exactly that.
They go on a journey in each other’s world.
I love when two people open up to each other like that.
There’s the topic of sex (I won’t say if they end up having sex or not, in case you haven’t seen the movie), but it’s mostly about building a connection, about breaking that bubble of ourselves we are stuck in and overlapping with someone else’s bubble.
I vividly remembering stumbling upon this movie while watching television as a teenager, just changing the channels looking for something good. I felt so lucky to have found this gem. This was long before streaming services were a thing and you had the whole cinematographic archive of the world at your fingertips.
It has a very delicate soul. The conversations feel as real as can be. Ethan Hawke nails the part of the heart-broken, hungry, horny, half clumsy, half suave beau and she is marvelous as the slightly wiser, playful, but also strongly attracted lady who is simmering with deep thoughts and youthful idealism.
What I always find funny is that they are looking for things to do and nice things to look at in the city of Vienna when it’s so very obvious that the only thing they are really looking for is a bridge towards each other.
What’s one of your favorite romantic movies?
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