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Countdown to Before Midnight

May 13, 2013

Before midnight

I’m one of those women. The kind who had a poster of Lloyd Dobler from Say Anything up on her dorm room wall. The kind who memorized lines from Singles. The girl in high school who read the horoscopes of the boys I had crushes on.

I’m a romantic, and my enthusiasm for romance still exists, even though I’ve been married for almost ten years and am living in suburbia with two kids and two cars.

I am thrilled to pieces about the next installment of the Richard Linklater series Before Sunrise and Before Sunset. If you don’t know the story of these three films, allow me to educate you.

Before Sunrise came out in 1995; it’s the story of Jesse (an American) and Celine (a Frenchwoman) who meet on a train and realize quickly they have a lot in common. They enjoy talking to each other so much that they get off with each other in Vienna and spend the next day together before Jesse has to catch a flight home.

In the movie, they’re young, dorky, easily inspired. I’ve never been a huge Ethan Hawke fan—a little too much grease, a little too much hair in the face—but his fervor for life in this movie is infectious. Flash to 2004 (nine years is the theme), when Jesse meets Celine again in Paris on his book tour. Once again, they have a long soulful conversation, sharing thoughts and reflections they’ve had about life in the nine years since they last saw each other. I hate to tell you what happens in Before Midnight, because Before Sunset leaves off with a mystery. Will Jesse get back on the plane, or stay in Paris with Celine?

I haven’t seen the movie, but they’re together, trying to find the spark of romance they had when they first met.

If you’re too cynical to enjoy watching two people talking about their deepest darkest fears and realizations and feelings as they stroll through the most beautiful cities in the world (Vienna, Paris, and somewhere in Greece), then I don’t want to argue about it with you. Next you’re going to tell me you don’t believe in God, either.

I, on the other hand, love the premise and lines from the movie. I love the way the characters share truths about life, and the very idea that you can share so much with a person you barely know. That perhaps you can be more of yourself with a stranger than the people you’ve known all your life.

I’m counting down the days until this movie is released. And on the way, I’m going to watch the other two in the series to warm up. In case you’re just as excited as me, or simply intrigued, here are some glimpses.


Before Sunset (1995)


Before Sunrise (2004)


Who cares about another Great Gatsby film, give me Richard Linklater and Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke! I’ll be in line on May 25th.

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