‘Tonight You’re Sleeping With Me’ Characters: Nina, Janek, And Maciek, Explained

A basic love triangle at the center along with a slow and dragged-out plot, the Polish romantic drama “Tonight You’re Sleeping With Me” explores Nina’s conflict between her family and a long-lost love that resurfaces out of the blue. The story has been done and redone for ages, and it’s time we put it to bed. No matter how many times we tell it and from whose perspective we present the story, it feels repetitive and dragging. The same was our feeling while watching this Polish movie directed by Robert Wichrowski.


Based on a novel written by Anna Szczypczynska, the movie follows Nina’s life as she juggles work, her family, and an old flame, Janek, who mysteriously returns to her life. Despite the stretched and monotonous storyline, the plot sheds light on some new character archetypes that offer a somewhat unique perspective on the occurrences in their lives. Moreover, the age difference between Nina and Janek might be little, but it adds a distinct layer of essence to the movie. Starring Roma Gasiorowska and Maciej Musial, the plot arcs and the character sketches of the central characters are discussed below.

Spoilers Ahead


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With very few flashbacks to show how Nina used to be, we only get to see her in her present life. Nina is stressed and drained at work and in her personal life. She tries her best to juggle between both worlds when it all comes crashing down with Janek’s entry into her life. She feels pulled toward the man who loved her with everything he had. Although we never get to know what caused Nina and Janek to break up in the past, we see him returning to Poland from Amsterdam after ten long years. Nobody knows what he’s been up to all this time. Nina, on the other hand, grows in her career from a mere journalist to a publishing executive.

Nina’s relationship with her mother has never been smooth. She tries to control everything and everyone at once. On the other hand, Nina’s father is as supportive and friendly as a father can be. He understands Nina and the struggles she goes through. In the whole movie, her dad seems to be the most sorted and stable character who truly has Nina’s back. Furthermore, Nina has ADHD, which seems to be the root of every problem in her life. She is clumsy and confused all the time. She gets overwhelmed very easily and breaks down at the slightest inconvenience. And in situations like these, Janek is the only person who appears to understand her and console her. Janek can soothe her with just a hug, showing how they are meant to be together.


In the end, when it comes to choosing between her family and her happiness, Nina stands at a crossroads. Maciek, her husband, hears Nina and Janek having sex. He demands answers and explanations from Nina, who is cheating on her husband with her ex-lover. Nina visits Maciek in Iceland to clear the air after Maciek has an accident and falls into a coma. With her responsibility toward her husband on the one hand and her own happiness on the other, Nina is tense, and her thoughts are muddled. We believe she would have ended up with Maciek as she loves her daughters more than anything. As a mother, her kids’ safety and happiness matter to her above all else. So, to not break their hearts, Nina would have chosen Maciek and waited for the right time to pursue her relationship with Janek.


A carefree, hopeless romantic character is the “other man” in the story. Janek has always been independent and does whatever he likes. He left Poland, possibly for a job or career opportunity, and settled in Amsterdam. After ten years, he returns to his country and meets the woman of his dreams yet again. Fate brings them together again, only to riddle their path with more obstacles. Even though Janek helps Nina whenever and wherever he can, he also does not leave any chance to seduce her and get her back. Despite knowing she is married with kids, Janek cannot help himself and falls in love again. He understands Nina’s situation and tries his best to stay away from her. But, as they say, true love always finds a way.


Moreover, Janek is amazing with Nina’s kids as well. When Nina’s daughter gets sick, Janek runs to her with medicines and food to make her feel better. Janek is there for Nina in sickness and in health. He truly loves her and embodies the spirit of unconditional love. Janek is sort of a child himself, but he even agrees to be a father to Nina’s daughters in case they end up together. Such a sacrifice of his freedom and is willing to take up such a responsibility shows how much he has matured over the years. Even if he wasn’t ready for a relationship back then, he shows his readiness in the present. In the end, when Nina goes to Iceland to see her husband, Janek follows her to apologize for his anger and to be there to take care of her. And when Nina decides to stay with Maciek, Janek steps back without asking any questions or demanding any explanations. This goes on to show how understanding he is and how much love he harbors for Nina.


If there’s one character we absolutely despised while watching the movie, it’s Maciek. In the beginning, he seems to adjust and compromise according to Nina’s convenience. However, with time, we will see how condescending and conceited he actually is. Maciek offers a quickie when his wife asks for some quality time and intimacy. He is never seen spending any time with his kids, either. It appears that he does not comprehend the concept of having a family and making efforts to keep it together. Even his trip to Iceland is his way of getting away from all the stress and responsibilities of his life. He runs away at the slightest issue without giving a second thought to how his wife will manage her work, the house, and their daughters all by herself. Going to Iceland for a solo trek is the most selfish thing he does throughout the story.


Moreover, when he learns from his daughters that a strange man is helping take care of them, he immediately runs to Nina’s mother and asks her to go to their house. He gets jealous when someone else helps Nina and is there for her, even when he doesn’t do so himself. His selfishness yet again gets the better of him. He cannot escape his life with no warning and expect Nina to manage everything alone. She was bound to need some help, and Janek did exactly that. In conclusion, Maciek is the archetypal patriarchal man who wants no share of responsibilities but wants all the credit and satisfaction in life.

See more: ‘Tonight You’re Sleeping With Me’ Ending, Explained: Who Does Nina End Up With?

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Vidhi Narula
Vidhi Narula
Bio: With a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, Vidhi puts her skills to use for dissecting and analyzing the essence of entertainment features. She loves writing about movies and shows that fascinate her. Her love for the numerous fictional worlds grows with every piece of content she consumes. All she hopes to do is deepen her knowledge of the world on screen and widen her horizons by watching movies from across the world.

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