Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Jules et Jim

Last weekend, I went to see the classic old French film Jules et Jim. It's a black and white film with English sub-titles, originally released for cinema viewing in the UK back in 1962, but for some reason it was re-released again here recently. Set before and after the first world war, the plot revolves around a love triangle between the two main straight male characters Jules and Jim, and a woman called Catherine.

Although both men love Catherine, it's amazing how cool both of them are about the situations that develop as Catherine marries one of them and generally sleeps around with the unmarried friend as well as a few other men. Jules, the guy who marries Catherine, has an exceptionally pragmatic attitude towards his wife's infidelity. Throughout the film, the friendship between Jules and Jim is never in any doubt, surviving all the romantic turmoil over the years as Catherine becomes increasingly unsettled.

The closest parallel to my own life would relate me to Catherine, Jules to boyfriend S, and Jim to Boyfriend P. Some some things are very different though, because whereas Jules and Jim were firm friends, Boyfriends S and P have never met. None the less, I hope that I don't follow the same path that Catherine did in the film, because it wasn't a happy ending :-(.

Given that this film is around fifty years old, the big question left in my mind now that I've seen it is why western society hasn't become more relaxed about infidelity? Particularly for gay relationships, how has this absurd idea of monogamy taken hold? If boyfriend S had been as cool as Jules was throughout the film, when I told boyfriend S about boyfriend P, life over the last few years would have been much easier for all of us and especially for him!

3 comments:

PinkExpat said...

This comment may sound like a "monongamy vs polygamy" comment, but I think it is a case of "horses for courses". I know that I only want a monogomous relationship and being in a non-monogamous one would just make me unhappy. For others it is not a problem at all or even the only sort of relationship they are looking for. The important thing is to be honest - both with yourself and with your partner(s). And do not try to avoid talking about such issues because they might upset you or your partner.

P.S. If you want to read a blog of a guy who is looking for a monogamous boyfriend, then you could always have a look at my brand new effort:

http://pinkexpat.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

At some point serial polygamy does tend to fade. Or maybe as the above comment its horses for courses and for some it just does not loose its appeal. But what cannot be doubted is that it does cause tensions, jealousies and other emotions preprogrammed in our mental make up. This sometimes results in driving over the bend as Catherine demonstrates in the movie

close encounters said...

Was Catherine open from the start about her desire for an open relationship ?

If so, fair enough, if not ...