This is my entry for the Lovesick Blog-a-Thon, hosted right here at 100 films. It's pre-dated so as not to bump the full list down
My first film was a student film, made without the benefit of a film production class. It wasn't even remotely good, and I don't let anyone watch it anymore, but that's not why I mention it. That was the film I did what all filmmakers do at some point in their lives--I fell for the lead actress. She was a last minute addition to the film and the performance, by her admission, wasn't very good, but that didn't really matter.
She used to visit me late at night while I edited, bringing coffee to help keep me awake, but just the promise of her arrival would keep me wired until 7am.
But graduation was two months away, and when I moved home, the love affair fizzled out. To this day, I consider it one of my biggest mistakes.
I moved to Chattanooga for two years and one day, in the bargin bin at Wal-Mart, was Richard Linklater's Before Sunrise (1995). Everything about it felt like my relationship with that girl, from the long, late-night sessions to the vague ending. For one of the first times in my life, I felt like a filmmaker was telling my story, but not only the story of that night, but the knowledge that unless something remarkable were to happen, I may never see her again. Word on the rumour mill was that she was engaged and I, as far as I knew, had moved on.
Then, my job got outsourced, I moved back to Pittsburgh, and in the process of editing a documentary, she started visiting me again. All those old feelings were rekindled and before I really knew what was happening, her engagement was over and Before Sunset (2004) was nearing a release date. It all seemed perfect, storybook, like somehow a love story on film was mimicing my own life, like they were somehow operating in tandem, destined for something profound.
We saw it together. She loved it nearly as much as I did. She even spent the weekend at my apartment. And then it all went wrong. Quickly.
But that wasn't what bothered me. What really bothered me, what fucked me up for a long time, was the idea that what felt so perfect, so filmic, not only didn't have a happy ending, but didn't even last long enough to seem like it would have a happy ending. There was no reason for the demise, no moment where I made the classic protagonist mistake, no grand misunderstanding. If my life were a film, the critics would have complained that the disintegration of the romance didn't make sense, that it didn't pass the suspension of disbelief test. I couldn't comprehend her character's motivations.
It took me a long time to get past that.
Eventually I realized that life wasn't always like a movie, that sometimes characters did things that didn't make any sense, that there wasn't always foreshadowing, that while happy endings were possible, they didn't always come in the way you expect, and sometimes they didn't come at all. That doesn't mean we shouldn't keep looking for them. And that doesn't mean I can't appreciate it when Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy find their perfect ending, just because I didn't find mine.
 Although I had taken Cinema 101, the class where you watch Citizen Kane (1941) and other such essentials.