Before Midnight – 18 years and 3 movies later

Back in 1994 I enjoyed a summer living in the UK during university.  I was working and traveling around.  Much of it by train.  Train travel has a certain romance to it.  I’m sure I’m not the only one that has romanticized meeting a someone while watching the countryside go by, falling into deep conversations about the most interesting topics and then having that moment when you have to make the decision to continue on your trip or take a chance and get off the train with them.  Well, that did happen.  Only it happened in a movie that following year.  That movie was ‘Before Sunrise‘ with Ethan Hawke (Jesse) and Julie Delpy (Celine). Here’s the trailer to remind you.

This movie was so unique.  It was completely based on intense dialogue between only two characters, in one day of their life.  The backdrop of the beautiful city of Vienna that they walked through played the interesting 3rd character.  ‘Before Sunrise’ for me was perfect timing to remind me of what I, and many of my traveling friends, had felt or dreamed while traveling that previous summer.

Then smartly, nine years later, director Richard Linklater, brought Ethan and Julie back together.  They wrote the a movie that was real time, nine years later in these 2 characters lives.  Each of them had moved on with their lives, but never forgot that moment in time ‘Before Sunrise’. As Jesse and Celine’s paths cross again in Paris, we get to enjoy the intense dialogue between these two in ‘Before Sunset‘.  Over the nine years their lives had definitely changed, but love is love.

Then again, nine years later, Richard, Ethan and Julie came together to give us the next stage in these two people’s lives with the new movie ‘Before Midnight‘. This time set in a small town in Greece, we welcome a few more minor characters as these two people’s lives have now grown together.  Children, careers, lives and intense love all play a big part in this third installment.  Just like the previous two movies, Jesse and Celine give us real dialogue as they walk/travel through gorgeous scenery, which is still playing that important third character of the movie.

I’m not sure what it is about these movies, as my life has not taken anything close to the same path as Jesse and Celine.  Maybe it’s because we are similar ages in each.  Possibly my love of travel.  Or how I romanticize travel and what that first movie represented to me. But I really enjoy these three movies, as I don’t find that I can be as drawn into certain movies, nor find such dialogue intense movies, like these.  I know that many will not feel as I do, but there is just something about having these movies as a constant during my adulthood growing up years (yes we continue to grow up as an adult). These characters have come back into my life every nine years and have offered me an interesting view on life (maybe not mine), while making me stop to remember that very first movie and that time in my life.