Us humans have a tendency to obsess. As John Waters once put it, “Without obsession, life is nothing.” And by far one of our most ubiquitous obsessions is, love. From our own adventures of love to the enchanting tales of romance we so repeatedly hear, in some shape or form we obsess.
It starts during childhood with animated love stories like Cinderella and those other fantasies that follow, yet the older we get the harder it is to believe in that “true love.” However every once in a while, there are those couples who might just spark that belief once again. When we talk about love, we talk, or even dream about the power couple, Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin.
While their 12-year relationship was nothing like those “love-at-first-sight” type of senarios we hear about, there was something magical about the connection and relationship they shared. Gainsbourg was a French singer/songwriter and Birkin an English actress/singer. They both met on the set of the film Slogan back in ’68, and after some elegant slow-dancing, the enviable duo was born. Their relationship was far from perfect, which is exactly why it continues to captivate the hearts and minds of so many.
Serge & Jane weren’t the kind of lovers who demonstrated it in public, the way some people do. Instead, you’d see Birkin throwing a piece of custard tart at her beloved Gainsbourg at a party, but that was them: a balanced mixture of dysfunction and passion. Fervor, fun, and fateful, are all words that described their lives together. Serge and Jane epitomized a kind of “Beauty and the Beast” romance for people. They were the odd couple: you had the beautiful, innocent English rose who was seen as being seduced by a French lothario. They caused controversy through their music, specifically through the erotica of “Je t’aime…Moi Non Plus”, and sparked hope with the genuine gaze they shared when they looked into each other’s eyes.
Even years after their break-up, two children, various films, and alcohol abuse, the pair continued to share an everlasting love (Serge was even godfather to Lou, Jane’s second daughter with Jacques Doillon). Between the cigarettes, arguments, and photographs, we got a pretty grounding portrait of a couple who so often courted controversy and aroused public attention, making them one of the most captivating couples. Before Brad & Angelina, Beyoncé & Jay-Z, and Barack & Michelle Obama, there was Serge & Jane; the ultimate example of relationships goals. For all the hopeless romantics, their legendary love lives on.