A sequel in the indie film world is rare. A threequel is completely unheard of.
That’s why film nerds around the world geeked out when it was announced that Richard Linklater would be filming a third installment to his indie romance epic!
The ballad of Jesse & Celine kicks off in Before Sunrise. Jesse (played by Ethan Hawke, circa ‘Reality Bites‘) is an American on his way to catch a flight back to USA fromVienna after getting dumped by his girlfriend who was studying in Europe. Celine (a cherubic Julie Delpy) is a Parisian university student on her way home from visiting her grandmère in Budapest. They meet on the train, strike up an awkward conversation about books, and, despite the stringy hair, Jesse manages to charm her into exploring Vienna with him.
The film tracks their relationship over the course of one night as they traverse the city of Vienna. All they do is talk and do romantic things that we all shit on for being cheesy but secretly want to do ourselves. Like lying under the stars in a park after conning a barman into giving a free bottle of wine. Yeah, you wish.
Despite the cheese, the thing that sets the film apart is how organically their connection develops. The ramble nonsensically about their dreams and ambitions, their conversations tinged with starry-eyed naiveté. Of course they fall in love. The film oscillates between moments of intensity and light-hearted silliness. Its what makes it so captivating, yet so entertaining.
As you guessed, they only have until sunrise before they are separated by circumstance.
I really don’t want to spoil anything else because the climax hits you like a ton of emotional bricks. Its safe to say that I bawled like an infant. Here’s an upbeat trailer, complete with peppy 90’s music to convince you that its not just a sopping sob-fest:
Their story picks up years later in Before Sunset. I can’t bring myself to spoil it in text so its your choice as to whether or not you watch the trailer. I CANNOT STRESS ENOUGH THAT THE FOLLOWING TRAILER WILL SPOIL THE END OF THE FIRST FILM.
Please just go watch Before Sunrise? Please? Pretty please?
Alas, I am strongly against the concept of a nanny state so I will post it. I lay it upon your own conscience to make the choice – to Youtube, or not to Youtube?
Ugh, I guess you have no self control and MIGHT AS WELL just spoil Before Sunrise for yourself. Yeah, the trailer for Before Midnight is massively spoilery.
Now that you’ve ruined the plot for yourself, go back and watch the films in full. You owe me that, at least. I promise, the Before [insert temporal phenomenon here] films will clench its fist around your cynical heart and never let go.