"Life's hard. It's supposed to be. If we didn't suffer, we'd never learn anything."
Before Sunrise felt like such a perfect romantic movie that many people had doubts about reuniting these characters nine years later and making a sequel, but fear not because Richard Linklater gives un another perfect story and both Delpy and Hawke are magnificent together. I imagine that everyone that had seen the film back in 1995 made their own conclusions of wether or not these two lovers met six months later like they planned, but now Linklater decides to tell us what happened exactly. I didn't have to think too much about it because I saw Sunrise yesterday, watched Sunset today, and now will get to watch Midnight. I thought this was a perfect sequel to Sunrise and pretty much follows a similar plot line, but with more mature conversations now that the characters have aged. I imagine that those people that had to wait nine years between each sequel probably had a much richer experience than those of us who simply got to see these films in one week, especially those viewers who were about 23 years old in 1995 and matured at sort of the same rate these characters did. In Before Sunset the characters are in their 30's which is the age I'm at now so I related much more to what they were saying this time around. The first film was nostalgic, reminding me how I thought when I was their age, but this time I could identify with them in the present. Looking back and remembering those connections you made with someone and realizing that those connections are hard to come across now that you are older. I guess in a way you value things more now that perhaps in the past you wouldn't. Linklater succeeds once again at bringing a really romantic tale to the big screen.
In Before Sunrise Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) met as strangers in a train and spent a night together wandering the streets of Vienna. Before Sunset takes place nine years later as Jesse is at the end of his European book tour in Paris. He has written an autobiographical book about his encounter with Celine although he never admits that the events are true. When he finishes talking about his book he is surprised to see Celine there waiting for him. She lives in Paris and had heard he was going to be speaking at that book store so she decided to go see him. Jesse has to be back at the airport in an hour, but the two get together once again for a cup of coffee and a walk through the streets of Paris while they talk about their life, work, and relationships. They also let us know what happened that day they were supposed to reunite in Vienna.
If there's something negative I could say about Before Sunset it's that it is way too short and you wish the characters could have spent at least half an hour longer together. This time the film and the events that take place are in real time so you have several long shots (the longest one is 11 minutes long) and few editing going on. The film isn't as brilliant to look at, but it is a great conversation to eavesdrop. The chemistry is strong again and this time there is more conversation and less passion, but it works really well. Before Sunset never felt like a forced sequel; it was more of a continuation of that movie and hopefully I will feel the same way about Before Midnight. Linklater was nominated for an Oscar for best adapted screenplay and deservingly so with the contribution of Hawke and Delpy who also co-wrote this film. Before Sunset is a beautiful and romantic film that is well worth your time.