Now the plot must prove both right to so put them together, the good & the beautiful. The cautious look to their interest, censored by shame. The daring look to beauty, hindered by thoughtlessness. Mobsters, gunfights, tigers, whores, & casinos are involved at one point or another. At every point, the handsome guy insists all the bad things are for the better; he writes things down, trying to figure them out. It is difficult to believe him, because he is living on his wits, that is to say improvising. But there is something that attracts us, so we cannot help but wish that he is right.
Phil lives by the proposition that the unforgettable is the good. That is only true in one case, but in that case, his name fits him astoundingly well. The cautious fellow lives by the proposition that the indecent should be forgotten or should not even be admitted to exist. In a way, he is a very pious man: His name also turns out to fit him well. But the title of the movie points to what neither of them, in their opposite ways, will acknowledge: Pain & pleasure go together. We are wont to think of the getting drunk, being led by rather unthinking desires – but the comic poet chides us gently, reminding us that the drunker we get, the worse the hangover will be.
I think the movie is supposed to offer those of us who love to drink a story that can replace the drinking. But only a story about drinking, if it be a pleasing, captivating story, could replace drinking. The poet shows that thinking usually comes after drinking. But if the thinking comes with pain, as in the case of the hangover, moralism regrettably becomes inevitable. So he makes up clever & fine speeches to give pleasure instead: Thinking comes after drinking in the story that replaces drinking, so there is really no danger.
The poet does not simply fulfill our desires in speech; he does not merely bring out our passions on the screen; he must make sure we avoid what we deserve, who take our bearings by our protagonists. Drinking ought to make us generous, because unserious: The poet gives the example, by playfully giving us better than we deserve. Surely, this is a celebration of poetic gifts, the superfluities of which are lavished upon us. He understands the pain love creates in us; the deep longing, the very serious questions it brings up; he knows how this all must be settled for marriage to be possible. He takes the men, because they think of themselves as lovers. But lovers are lovers of what?