Samuelleary’s review published on Letterboxd:
What an ending! Not at all what I expected. VERY depressing in its tone and themes. It was hard to watch at times but not in a way that put me off. It was gripping to see where Richard Linklater wanted to take these characters. It was just so realistic and didn’t feel sugarcoated like a fairytale which is a running problem both characters have to face throughout the film. But it was very upsetting to see these characters we’ve followed throughout 18 years of their lives have ups and downs in their relationship, all presented in a way that allowed them both to grow as individuals as well as a couple which unfortunately, in life, can mean that the growth of an individual person can interfere with the growth of two people and this film, this series which Linklater and everybody on the creative team poured their HEARTS into showcased this in a way that was so well crafted, well executed and is generally just a unique way to take a romantic tale. Not for a second in ten entire trilogy did any of it feel like a movie. We’ve been on a journey with these characters and unfortunately not every journey has a particularly overly positive ending. Not to say this was a completely negative ending but it was for sure a bittersweet one that felt a little hopeless but felt like an accurate representation of people and their need to constantly feel complete by having the acceptance of another person. Overall, perhaps a perfect trilogy that may not be for everyone because of its unique, non-Hollywood-ised manner but one that certainly impressed me.