dir: Richard Linklater
For many of us, at least those of us who have seen and loved Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, the prospect of a third instalment is both thrilling and terrifying.
To see what has become of Jesse and Celine is both too intriguing and almost too daunting, because there’s a good reason why romantic stories, romantic movies at least, end where they end. They end after the grand gesture at the end of the movie, the great declarations of love, and just at the beginning of the presumed Happily Ever After begins. Which will last forever, don’t you know.
They don’t show us what happens afterwards, as the two people brought together by lust and amazement start getting bogged down by the mundanity of the every day, as they argue about money, about who caused the scratch on the car and who pissed on the toilet seat.
That would kind of kill the fantasy for us, since all romance is a fantasy. And the two lovebirds would cease, immediately, being these embodiments of love, youth, beauty, and would become earthbound clay and muck just like the rest of us.
Before Midnight gives us Jesse and Celine in their forties, eighteen years after they first met in Prague, nine years after they reunited in Paris, nine years after their lives together began in earnest.