Before Sunrise
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Synopsis for
Before Sunrise (1995) More at IMDbPro »

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The film starts with Jesse meeting Cline on a train from Budapest and striking up a conversation with her. Jesse is going to Vienna to catch a flight back to the United States, whereas Cline is returning to university in Paris after visiting her grandmother.

When they reach Vienna, Jesse convinces Cline to disembark with him, saying that 10 or 20 years down the road, she might not be happy with her marriage and might wonder how her life would have been different if she had picked another guy, and this is a chance to realize that he himself is not that different from the rest; in his words, he is "the same boring, unmotivated guy." Jesse has to catch a flight early in the morning and does not have enough money to rent a room for the night, so they decide to roam around in Vienna.

After visiting a few landmarks in Vienna, they share a kiss at the top of the Riesenrad ferris wheel at sunset and start to feel a romantic connection. As they continue to roam around the city, they begin to talk more openly with each other, with conversations ranging from topics about love, life, religion, and their observations of the city.

Cline tells Jesse that her last boyfriend broke up with her six months ago, claiming that she "loved him too much". When questioned, Jesse reveals he had initially come to Europe to spend time with his girlfriend who was studying in Madrid, but they had broken up when she was avoiding him while he was there. He decided to take a cheap flight out of Europe, out of Vienna, but it didn't leave for two weeks so he bought a Eurail pass and traveled around Europe.

When they are walking alongside a canal they are approached by a man who, instead of begging, offers to write them a poem with a word of their choice in it. Jesse and Cline decide on the word "milkshake", and are soon presented with the poem Delusion Angel (written for the film by the poet David Jewell).

In a cafe, Jesse and Cline stage fake phone conversations with each other, playing each others' friends they pretend to call. Cline reveals that she was ready to get off the train with Jesse before he convinced her. Jesse reveals that after he broke up with his girlfriend, he bought a flight that really wasn't much cheaper, and all he really wanted was an escape from his life.

They admit their attraction to each other and how the night has made them feel, though they understand that they probably won't see each other again when they leave. They simply decide to make the best of what time they have left, ending the night with the implication of a sexual encounter between them. At that point, Jesse explains that if given the choice, he'd marry her instead of never seeing her again. The film ends the next day at the train station, where the two hastily agree to meet together at the same place in six months as the train is about to leave.

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