Tag Archives: Before Sunrise

Before Midnight

I love Richard Linklater’s Before films. The films indulge my sometimes neglected romantic side and I care so much about the fates of Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy).

So we meet up with Jesse and Celine nine years after the events of Before Sunset. They are together with twin daughters and are at the end of their summer holiday in Greece. Jesse’s son Hank has just returned home to his mother (Jesse’s ex-wife) in America. After spending some time with their daughters and friends they spend an evening finally alone where old issues resurface.

Ok first off I admit this film won’t appeal to everyone. Two characters talking about themselves for 109 minutes may not sound all that enticing. But that is the skill and the power of the Before films is that it isn’t boring at all. I adore watching these characters talk about their lives, dreams and regrets. Hawke and Deply have amazing chemistry that continues in this film even though they argue a lot more in this installment.

There is also a slight change in the format of Before Midnight, there’s a whole dinner scene where other people talk as well! Shocking! Luckily this helps push the story forward and brings up the issues between Jesse and Celine in a way that doesn’t seem forced.

While the other films were romantic love and whether Jesse and Celine will get together, Before Midnight is about what kind of love a long-term couple have and whether Jesse and Celine will stay together. As well as the usual sweet moments we expect from Jesse and Celine we all also have long scenes of arguments between the two, throwing up bitterness, resentment and other problems couples go through. It does feel like you are intruding on a couple’s fight and I’m sure some people in the audience will find the scenes uncomfortably familiar.

I would give the film’s previous installments Before Sunrise and Before Sunset five stars each as they are some of my favourite all time films. For some reason Before Midnight is not quite a five-star film, maybe because I prefer the more romantic feel of the first two films but it is still an amazing film with an excellent script and five-star performances from Hawke and Deply.

Rating 4/5

I’d happily catch up with Jesse and Celine every nine years to see where one of my favourite cinematic couples end up.


Filed under Reviews

My Perfect Valentine’s Day Films

So as promised here is a few of my favourite romantic films, when I can’t help but carried away with it all.

First up, Before Sunrise and its sequel Before Sunset, these films are a must for romantics everywhere. In Before Sunrise Jesse, an American guy (Ethan Hawks), meets a French girl Céline (Julie Delpy), on a train in Vienna and decide to spend the day together before they go their separate ways. The film follows a series of conversations between these two as they wonder around the city. What makes this such a joy to watch is that the dialogue between them feels so natural.  It captures that moment where you meet someone and just connect with them. Maybe it doesn’t last long, maybe it lasts forever but what they feel at that time is real and it’s perfect.

Before Sunset picks up 9 years after they first met and we see what happened to them and if they did ever meet up after the end of the first film like they promised. Hawkes and Dupley knew their characters so well and had such a strong idea of where they would end up that the actors were involved in the scriptwriting process. The beauty of these characters is that they are flawed people, so real and you root for them the whole way. A third film Before Midnight is out this year and I can’t wait.

One of my favourite comedies is When Harry Met Sally. Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan (remember when she was in every romantic comedy going?) make a loveable pair in a film that asks whether men and women can ever just be friends without sex getting in the way.  There are many memorable scenes which are still hilarious even on repeated viewing including Ryan’s infamous fake orgasm scene. The script by the late Nora Ephron is a gem ranging from the funny…

“Had my dream again where I’m making love, and the Olympic judges are watching. I’d nailed the compulsories, so this is it, the finals. I got a 9.8 from the Canadians, a perfect 10 from the Americans, and my mother, disguised as an East German judge, gave me a 5.6. Must have been the dismount.”

…to the unashamedly romantic…

“I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”

I watch this film and all my cynicism melts away, mostly because I’m laughing so hard.

If I want a good cry then it’s hard to beat The Notebook.  Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams are perfect as the young couple in the 40’s falling in love. It’s wonderfully narrated by James Garner as Duke who is telling the story from the notebook to a fellow nursing home resident played by Gena Rowlands. I can’t watch it without bursting into tears.

There are plenty more romantic films that I enjoy from British rom-coms like  Love Actually and  Four Weddings and a Funeral, to more quirky ones like The Princess Bride which has so many quotable lines and memorable characters that I couldn’t even start to list them now-maybe in a another post.  But I shall stop now before I tear up just thinking about the ending of The Notebook.


Filed under Opinion