same time, next year

It sucks to always have a break-up before Valentine’s Day. It’s been a pattern for me, always missing on the infamous love bug during d-day. What cheesy stuff do I miss every year? Everything, I guess. But what I don’t know won’t hurt me anyway. I just treat myself with a fun dinner with friends, buy my own chocolates or I simply morph into a sucker for romance films.

I watched ‘Same Time, Next Year’ starring Ellen Burstyn and Alan Alda on dvd last night and damn it, I love the film.  Directed by Robert Mulligan, it is based on the stage play written by Bernard Slade who also wrote the film’s screenplay.

The story is very simple. Doris, a high school graduate and George, a CPA, meet by chance at a romantic inn over dinner. They make love that night and feel guilty when they wake up, both being married with three kids. They however realize their instant connection, George even calling it love. They then agree to meet on the same weekend , same place each year.

The two are seen changing five years apart from 1951-1977, each transition shows montage of clips that define the era – may it be in politics, films, space exploration and a modified lyrics of the theme song ‘The Last Time I Felt Like This’ beautifully sung by Johnny Mathis and Jane Olivor.

The premise is a possibility given the communications technology at that time. And for two people who are completely different from each other to fall in love and spend a weekend every year for 26 years is something. The catch is, they never left their respective spouses. It can never happen in real life but that’s what V-day is for anyway. To celebrate the commercial value of ‘love’.

Every meeting, they always start with having sex to wash off any awkward feeling of seeing each other again. Then they tell stories of the good and bad qualities of their spouses. George often moves from one State of domicile to another, Doris dons a new hairdo each time. These and other aspects reflect each character’s evolution as time passes by.

I fell more in love with the theme song, though. It makes you wish you’re cuddling someone (and kill him with a pillow on his face afterwards, kidding). Here’s the modified lyrics of the song, depending on the status of Doris’ and George’s relationship that year.

1951 – They meet and fall in love. Transition to montage is Doris’ cute hat.

Hello, I don’t even know your name
But I’m hopin’ all the same
This is more than just a simple hello
Hello, do I smile and look away?
No, I think I’ll smile and stay
To see where this might go

‘Cause the last time I felt like this, I was falling in love,
Falling and feeling, I’d never fall in love again.
Yes, the last time I felt like this, was long before I knew
What I’m feeling now with you

Hello, I can’t wait till we’re alone, somewhere quiet on our own
So that we can fall the rest of the way.
I know that before the night is thru, I’ll be talking love to you,
Meaning every word I say

‘Cause the last time I felt like this I was falling in love,
Falling and feeling, I’d never fall in love again.
Yes, the last time I felt like this, was long before I knew
What I’m feeling now with you…

1956 – George feels guilty about the affair, he leaves but chooses to come back. Doris sports a blonde Marilyn Monroe look. Transition to montage is them kissing inside Doris’ car (with rain effect)

Hello, the seasons have come and gone
And the world goes tumbling on
Look what’s happened since I last saw your smile
Hello, love’s invited us back here
The same as she did last year
To come and spend a while

And the last time I felt like this (the very last time)
I was falling in love (I was falling)
Falling and feeling
I’d never fall in love again
Yes, the last time I felt like this (the very last time)
Was long before I knew (what I’m feeling)
What I’m feeling now with you…

1961 – George becomes impotent but gets a hard on when he kisses a pregnant Doris. Doris has a premature labor, George delivers the baby. Transition to montage is George’s hand holding Doris’.

Oh, the last time I felt like this
I was falling in love
Falling and feeling
I’d never fall in love again
Yes, the last time I felt like this
Was long before I knew
What I’m feeling now with you

1966 – Doris becomes a hippie as she goes to college in Berkeley. They argue about politics, Doris threatens to leave because she discovers George voted for Goldwater (for President) but George reveals his son died in the war. Transition to montage is them crying on each other’s shoulder.

(Soul instrumental of the theme song)

1971 – Doris’ relationship with her husband is in shambles as she becomes an advocate of women’s lib. She proposes marriage to George but he refuses, even fixing Doris’ marriage with her husband. Transition to montage is the telephone.

This is my favorite song lyrics.

Dreams make promises they can’t keep
They can swindle you while you sleep
And the morning finds you wondering why
It seems when we’re young in dreams we trust
Maybe growing up is just
Kissing certain dreams goodbye…

1977 – George’s wife Helen dies six months prior to the meeting and George tells a crestfallen Doris his wife knew about the affair for ten years but she never confronted him. George proposes marriage to Doris but Doris can’t say yes.

(Disco version of the song)

It’s the ending so we know how fairy tales end.

‘Same Time, Next Year’ was nominated for four Academy Awards: Best Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Song.


13 thoughts on “same time, next year

  1. Aaaarrrggg! Heart’s day. Don’t remind me. I’m on the process of ignoring all the hype about this useless celebration (di halatang bitter hahaha).

    In any case, got curious about the movie. Haven’t seen this one. Is this available at Video city or any rental stores? thanks!

  2. Funny.
    I did a search for STNY and it brought me here.
    You say it can never happen anyway. I wonder.
    Here I am – pushing s-s-s-sixty (hard to say) and my “best friend” and I – who had an affair 20 years ago – still talk about doing something like this. If only. We’re both in committed relationships. But what would be the harm in “meeting up” once a year? I can dream. (by the way – it’s all lesbian drama)

  3. hi poy, masaya magpakabitter pag valentines. very antithesis lang ng mga bagay bagay. tomorrow pa ang premiere night ng daybreak sa up cine adarna. regular run niya sa indiesine feb 20-26. nood ka ha.

    hi jane, oh my gawd! really? i never thought such can happen in real life, a romantic probability of one in a hundred thousand. that’s so rare and special, am sure! wow. i-i-i-i’m out of words. really, lez relationships tend to last longer… good luck on your yearly rendezvous! =)

    nerie! musta ka na? dugay dugay na ta wag nagkita ba. lingawa nimu dira oi, naa na ka nj. and yeah, i didn’t know the song was the theme for the film until i saw it the other night. kitakits!

  4. yep, nasa labas lang ng theatre, me ticket booth dun. parang gusto ko iwish na maubusan ka ng tickets kasi ibig sabihin nun, dami nanonood.. hehe

    3pm, 5pm, 7pm naman oras ng screenings sa feb 13-14 e

  5. please please tell me the name of the song about dreams making promises that they cant keep…this is a long shot, but i cant find the name of the song anywhere..

  6. my email address is

    i really want to know the name of the song about dreams making promises…that’s in the movie, i see you have the lyrics here but i need the title of the song…thanks

  7. 33 yrs ago we help in love instantly. Could not get together.
    Still in loving communication tho married to others.
    Our favorite movie and song

  8. Hi! Just found this post while trying to find a recording of the song with the end of film lyrics. I don’t know what version you saw, but the one I have has these lyrics at the end ( no disco!): hello, it all started with hello, on an evening long ago, when an unexpected smile caught my eye, Hello, if I’d smiled and turned away, we would not be here today…. And then I cannot remember this one line!! Anyway, those are the end lyrics I have always seen.

  9. Hey, I just saw the movie and was directed to this post when I googled those song lyrics everyone likes about dreams (are we all in love with heartbreak, or what?). Anyway, that last line in the final stanze Teresa quotes is “To never say goodbye.” Sweet!

  10. Thanks for this post of so long ago. I love this movie and used to watch it all the time when I think it was I heavy rotation on HBO. I found this because I was googling the lyrics if the stanza about “Dreams make promises they can’t keep…” Thanks for this post!

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