Before Midnight

Before Midnight ★★★★★

A persons choice for favorite entry of the Before trilogy says a lot about how they view love. Before Sunrise says you care about the honeymoon phase. Learning everything about someone, cherishing the small new feelings, and trying to feel for how they will fit into your future. Before Sunset says you care about reconnecting. The feeling for someone else fell off through time and recreating that feeling is somewhat of a new experience. Before I jumped into Before Midnight, I had assumed that this would be the entry that says you love the stability. You have spent a good portion of your life with a person and you know them about as much as you know yourself. 20 years was spent looking for your soulmate and you look forward to waking up next to that person for the rest of your life. Happiness has been acquired. With Linklater, it couldn't be that simple.

Before Midnight is a product of its time. Much like most of Linklater's films there is a time that the film takes place in and this time period says a lot about the characters. Not only is BM in touch with its time period, the culture of its location, and the changing of technology (which is commented on a lot), but it's in touch with relationships where we currently are. Marriage is just a word, it doesn't have the same meaning it once did. This film understands the flimsiness of relationships; the fickle nature of a moment that can make or break it. A conversation in any other romantic film would breeze through conflict in mere minutes, but BM takes its time to analyze these moments right down to its core.

The Before trilogy is a remarkable achievement for romance films because it can spend so much time building up certain moments of our lives. Moments are much more important than we think because certain moments create something new in us. In this scenario, these moments show love. Time is also a reason it surpasses many other contenders. What was important to us at 20 like our place in the stars or existentialism might seem irrelevant to someone in their 40's with multiple children. Within these moments our ideals are not always the same. BM isolates these principles showcasing what we truly care about becomes more grounded when we are older.

After much thought I'd say Before Midnight is my favorite entry. The honeymoon phase shrugs conflict off because we aren't invested in these people enough to really care if they walk away. The rekindling phase hypothetically ponders, "what might have been," as opposed to, "what will happen." But Before Midnight is at the home stretch of our lives. When a fickle moment almost washes away 20 years of work in a relationship, it scares me. Yes, hearing a story about when a new couple met reminds us of our own story or hearing what a widow has to say about her fading husband worries us about our spouse. But a balance between realism and fantasy is healthy. It reminds us that we need to be practical about our relationship and how much time we've spent to get to where we are. Before Midnight is both a daydream and a cold, calculated analysis of our own familiar relationships.