Before Midnight

Before Midnight ★★½

I am erasing this film from my memory and I’m going to pretend like Jesse and Celine’s beautiful story ends the way Before Sunset does. 

I am a big fan of the first two films in this series. They were magical, romantic, funny, and engaging. The chemistry between Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke in the first two films was off the charts. I really did fall in love with their love and I had a big smile plastered to my face the entire time. However, Before Midnight left me beyond disappointed. 

The stories focus has always been Jesse and Celine. They were two people among many who just stood out. They’re conversations went from deep to light in seconds while still keeping it very real. The conflicts were always internal or limited to the two characters. Would they meet again? Would they seal the deal? This movie however, takes these two amazing characters and makes use of external conflicts to drive the plot. 

The scene of them having lunch with their friends was so unnecessary and dragged out. The talk of sex was a constant throughout this film. And I mean CONSTANT. While it is understandable, it took away the charm of the conversations the characters shared. I just didn’t understand why we needed to see them interact with other characters who didn’t serve any greater purpose to the plot? It was a big yawn for me. 

The dialogues were also getting a little pretentious. The smallest thing like cheese for example, would remind Celine of a mouse they trapped ages ago and how that’s how patriarchy makes women feel or something. It was just silly. Their conversations following the lunch lacked so much of the romance, charm and innocence the first two had. Yes again, I realize that they have aged. But it’s almost like there has been 0 progress in their relationship. If Before Sunset managed the time gap well, I don’t understand why this one couldn’t do the same. 

The third act completely followed every single romance movie stereotype and took the easy way out of dealing with their relationships. The way the third act escalated was just bad. It was as if Linklater thought that without having a heated argument about... nothing.. it would make their relationship seem more realistic and aged. It took these two characters and completely destroyed them for me. I liked living in a fairytale world where these two people met on a train and fell in love. Sometimes, it’s okay not to be realistic. This movie was doing that so well and then destroyed the essence of this series with this final installment.

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