Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay play a couple called Kate and Geoff Mercer who are preparing for their 45th wedding anniversary party. A week before the event, they find out that the body of Geoff’s first love has been found in the ice of the Swiss Alps, 50 years after she fell there. The film is about the impact that this news and everything that came before has on their marriage.
The film is excellent, I very much recommend it. Though I suggest doing what we did and watching it in the middle of the day when there are many hours left in which to feel happy. Like I said, it’s definitely not Wayne’s World.
I love going to the cinema. I love how a great film can leave you with so many thoughts to mull over, and how somebody else’s creation can reflect things that you think and feel about your own life.
It struck me that, more than anything, this is a film about chance. About people you happen to meet, the relationships you have, and the direction your life goes in as a result.
In a week’s time, aside from being September (hope you’re getting excited about Christmas, chums, because it’s COMING) we reach our second wedding anniversary and in a few more weeks it’ll be TEN YEARS since this little duo of ours got off the ground. A month of Prosecco, cards and Leon saying “I really think one anniversary is more than enough” lies ahead. I can’t wait.
Like so many things in life – relationships, friendships, chance samplings of a new kind of cheese – we could so easily not have happened. The night we met I really wasn’t in the mood to go out, and even less so to meet some new dude. But I did and now here we are. It’s good to have at least one good decision under your belt to help reduce the volume amongst all the horrendous ones when they wake you in the night to remind you what a dickhead you’re capable of being.
And, as a result of this almost near miss, when we got married eight years later our first dance was to Pulp’s Something Changed. Because besides being what Taylor Swift would call a ‘sick beat’, its lyrics perfectly sum up just how much of life comes down to chance meetings, and how one life-altering encounter can all of a sudden make all the other ifs, buts and maybes pale into insignificance. (And also because Jarvis Cocker is from Sheffield, which is where we met, and my plans are nothing if not neat and tidy.) Strap in.
When we woke up that morning we had no way of knowing
That in a matter of hours we’d change the way we were going
Where would I be now, where would I be now if we’d never met?
Would I be singing this song to someone else instead?
I don’t know but like you just said
That right there was reason #487 for me to cry all the way through our wedding (and any time I’ve listened to it since, to be honest). I think a lot about how different things could have been but then I stop because they’re not, are they? Because something changed. It sounds simple when you write it down. That Jarvis really knows what he’s doing.
It’s amazing where a good film can send your mind. And I know I’m going to be thinking about 45 Years for a long time to come.
About how striking Charlotte Rampling is. About how sad Geoff made me feel. About how much it made me want a car and a dog (I live in London, these aren’t things people just have). About what I’d have done in Kate’s situation – or in Geoff’s – if a previous love suddenly came back to haunt us. And about the huge role that chance continues to play in all our lives.
If you see it, and I very much recommend that you do, I’d be very interested to know what you think.