This is a franchise I never want to end. Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) began their romance in “Before Sunrise” in ’95 and reunited in “Before Sunset” in 2004. Now it’s 18 years since they met. They’re very much still together, though unmarried, with two gorgeous twin daughters.
Two things make this romancer exquisitely unique: while writer/director Richard Linklater is the driving force, both Hawke and Delpy contribute to his writing, which is why their dialogue is so real. Like its predecessors, most of this movie is conversation. A conversation that could be heard in any longterm relationship. It’s all about the challenges of longterm love.
One of the best scenes has Celine topless as she argues with Jesse. The argument began as they were starting to make love. What woman would stop an argument to put her bra back on???!!! She’d be too busy trying to get in her two cents. Brilliantly real!! Also priceless: Celine’s complaints about Jesse’s lovemaking. The scene is an instant classic.
While no “After Midnight” has been announced, I am dying to see where Celine and Jesse end up in another 9 years, when they’re well into middle age. This is not only the best romancer of the year, it’s one of the best films of the year.