Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, and...Before Midnight!

In 1995’s Before Sunrise, Ethan Hawke’s Jesse and Julie Delphy’s Celine "meet on a train in Europe, and (spoiler boxes for those who have never seen any of the movies) wind up spending one romantic evening together in Vienna."
In 2004’s Before Sunset the couple meet again 9 years later and we see that the magic and chemistry is still there.
In this year’s Before Midnight Jessie and Celine (no spoilers for anyone who has already seen Before Sunset) meet yet again, 9 years later, this time in Greece.
I haven’t been paying attention and had no idea there was another sequel! I haven’t read any reviews because I’m afraid of being spoiled, but it’s rated 8.1 out of 10 (with 1,337 votes, because it’s played at several film festivals, including Sundance) on IMDB. It’s supposedly being released on May 24, though those in smaller cities may have to wait for the DVD.

I love this couple and I’m looking forward to seeing this.

Cool. Thanks for the heads up.
I like both the first two movies but haven’t watched them in ages. I do have them on DVD, though, so I’ll make a point of sitting down with both before the new one comes out.

I think I even started the Before Sunset Thread here way back when that one was released.

Yep. Here’s the Before Sunset Thread. Nine years ago, wow.

A grand total of 3 other Dopers took an interest in that Thread. Don’t blame yourself if this turns out to be a lonely Thread.

I haven’t seen Before Midnight, but I think that Before Sunrise and Before Sunset are well up there among the best films ever made.

I just thought I’d bump this since the movie is out now. I’m probably not going to see it since I love that couple so much and from what I heard,

[spoiler]they spend the whole movie bickering and break up at the end. If that’s wrong I’ll see it*, but if it’s right, fuck that. I’d rather remember them the way they used to be.

I was wrong in that they “meet again” because they are married with 2 kids at the start of the movie. It’d just been ages since I saw Before Sunset and I forgot the ending.

  • If you’ve seen it, SPOIL ME PLEASE![/spoiler]

I would say that’s a strong mischaracterization of the film.Yes, they argue a lot, but in a way that two people who love each other do. They get on each other’s nerves, and there are genuine areas of tension in their relationship–kids, career, life goals–but what would you expect from two people who have already demonstrated that they’re passionate and creative individuals? And the film does not end the way you were told. You should go see it.I like the film a lot, though it’s different from the other two for obvious reasons–the first is that we’re walking in on a life that they’re sharing. They are married, have kids of their own, so we are getting a window into a life that is in progress, not a connection that’s being created and revisited. There is also an advanced familiarity between them, an intimacy that is deeper, so it feels a little more voyeuristic than the other two.

There are also more characters than just the two. The last films were essentially an extended two-person dialogue. This has friends, family so that some scenes have Hawke or Delpy, but not both. This is to be expected in they now have a larger life that they share with others (and none of these people are particularly important in the “plot”), but it’s still a tonal shift from the first two.

It’s still exceedingly well-written and the characters are true to their previous incarnations. I would say there are more laughs in this one than the other two, and that’s largely based on the incredible candor they have with each other–blunt force truthfulness, witty but also raw and piercing. It’s probably the saddest of the three, not because of how the movie turns out, but because it shows that a wonderful couple still can have moments of doubt, hardship, and feelings of being unfulfilled. That doesn’t mean the film is a downer, but it is emotionally honest.

But it is also very romantic–not in a Hollywood RomCom way, but one where you see people who can drive each other nuts but who are still crazy about each other, in mind and body (this is also the most overtly sexual of the three). You get a sense of how right they are for each other, but that rightness can manifest itself in turbulence as well as intimacy, tears as well as connection.

One of my all-time favorite directors is Eric Rohmer, and this film (especially the last scene) most reminds me of his–people who are always yearning for happiness and intellectual stimulation, but can’t help but be tripped up by their own insecurities and baggage. But it’s a film that is all talking (with some lovely Greek locations) and not everyone’s cup of tea.

I still think my favorite is the 2nd, because it most resonated with me and where I was in my own life (I have neither spouse nor kids, so am the farthest removed from their experiences now), but it’s still a terrific film, and hopefully not the end of a trilogy, but another installment that will keep going as long as RL/JD/EH are inspired by this couple.

After a week, giving it a bump.

So, is anybody planning on seeing this? 98% on RT (second only to Mud), 97% on Metacritic (top spot of all new releases).

Really, Equipoise, you should see this film. Whatever you were told that put you off the film was wrong. This is a great movie. This is a great series. I’ve enjoyed Before Sunrise, when the couple was 23, and Before Sunset, when the couple was 32, and Before Midnight, when the couple was 41. I expect to enjoy Before Noon, when the couple will be 50, and Before Moonrise, when the couple will be 59, and Before Moonset, when the couple will be 68, and Before Jupiter Aligns with Mars, when the couple will be 77, and Before I Completely Run Out of Astronomical Events to Call the Movie, when the couple will be 86.

Enjoyed it (as I expected to), though not as much as the first two. The ending seemed a little too pat. But I’ll go see the next one when/if they make it.

Love the first two; no way to see it until I can at home - too much school-end stuff with the kids.

Ok, I did see the movie last week and liked a big chunk of it. It only became appalling near the end when without warning Celine suddenly turns into an unreasonable, irrational, foolish bitch on wheels, who finally says something so thoughtless and cruel, I was rooting for Jessie to leave, pack the kids up and take them to Chicago. That he went after her, and she didn’t even apologize, was stupid and made me hate both of them. I’m done with the series.

I finally saw it this previous weekend and the film’s been running in the back of my mind the last few days. I loved it for many of the reasons that people have mentioned earlier. It’s brutally honest about the realities of relationships and how tenuous it can be for two strong-willed individuals to try to mesh their aspirations together. It did get uncomfortable at times, but my boyfriend and I were chuckling at their fights and quips throughout.

[spoiler] I actually thought Celine was being very reasonable near the end despite all the ways that Jesse was pushing her buttons. She did blow up at him by saying that she didn’t love him anymore, but to be fair, he mentioned that he ruined his life for her. I think both statements are equally nuclear in their hurtfulness.

I had the opposite reaction, actually. I thought Celine was being unreasonable early on when she immediately jumped to the conclusion that Jesse would want to move to Chicago when he started going in about missing his son’s life, but as the movie went on, it seemed obvious to me that he really does want to move to Chicago and is trying to seed the idea in her mind. Celine, however, is the one who’s more realistic about what that would mean for them as a family. During the hotel room scene, she even mentions that she would gladly move to Chicago if it meant joint custody for Henry, but that would be unlikely to happen.

In the ending scene, they each deescalated the situation in their own way. Jesse, by searching for her and telling his silly time-traveling story to engage Celine, and Celine, by finally playing along with her dumb blonde schtick. That to me, seemed to be a telling statement on the nature of their relationship. Jesse feels that he sacrifices so much for her happiness already with his grand gestures, but Celine also makes many smaller sacrifices to her independence by playing along with those gestures. It’s the continued sacrifices that make this and every relationship possible, and sometimes it can feel like an obliteration of your own self.

This is why I loved this movie. It gets at the heart of all that is exhilarating and exhausting about a relationship without giving you villains or heroes. [/spoiler]

My wife and I binge-watched all three yesterday afternoon. Loved them all…can’t imagine seeing the first two in the theatre after they came out and being left hanging.

Is there any hint of a fourth?

There was no expectation of a second one after the first. There was no definite expectation of a third one after the second. Will another one come in 2022 when the couple are 50? Who knows? I found one article hinting that they will:

Here’s a in-theater announcement that they did in character:

Do you all know about the segment of Linklater’s film Waking Life with Celine and Jesse? It’s apparently supposed to be a scene in an alternate history of what would have happened to them if they had met again after six months and gotten together, instead of taking nine years to get back together. I can’t find a copy of the scene anywhere online, but I found a transcript of the scene (which also includes a second unrelated scene):