Early thirty-something American Jesse Wallace is in a Paris bookstore, the last stop on a tour to promote his best selling book, This Time. Although he is vague to reporters about the source material for the book, it is about his chance encounter nine years earlier on June 15-16, 1994 with a Parisienne named Celine, and the memorable and romantic day and evening they spent together in Vienna. At the end of their encounter at the Vienna train station, which is also how the book ends, they, not providing contact information to the other, vowed to meet each other again in exactly six months at that very spot. As the media scrum at the bookstore nears its conclusion, Jesse spots Celine in the crowd, she who only found out about the book when she earlier saw his photograph promoting this public appearance. Much like their previous encounter, Jesse and Celine, who is now an environmental activist, decide to spend time together until he is supposed to catch his flight back to New York, this ... Written by
There are several references to James Joyce; Jesse and Celine meet at "Shakespeare and Co.", a bookstore named after the original Parisian bookstore and publishing house owned by Sylvia Beach, who was the first to publish Joyce's "Ulysses". See more »
When Jesse and Celine sit on a bench in the park Jesse has his arm around Celine in one shot, in the next his arm is gone. See more »
Do you consider the book to be autobiographical?
Uh, well, I mean... isn't everything autobiographical?
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I saw this movie with my husband. He is usually a die-hard fan of action thrillers, special effects and horror movies but he allows me to coax him into seeing a really thoughtful movie every once in a while. So this was my choice for the evening. Neither one of us had seen the first movie, "Before Sunrise", although I knew of it by reputation. Well, my husband absolutely loved the movie! He sat up and became totally engrossed in the story, frequently patting my hand at intervals as he identified with the the characters in the story. He forgot about the dreadful uncomfortable movie seat. He let up a big sigh of disappointment when the credits came up... Personally, I grew up in Paris, France, I came to the US for graduate studies and I had an environmental protection career for 20 years. So I could strongly identify with Celine, a young woman of French origin with a patina of US graduate schooling and a career in environmental protection work. Her vulnerability shines through her modern chatterbox exterior. The acting is absolutely superb, with the intimate extended conversations drawing us into the characters' lives. Certainly, this movie can stand on its own. For Jesse and Celine, the opportunity to pick up once more their romantic relationship is here! A smart couple would not let the moment pass. I doubt that they would just have a quick passionate affair... I think that the characters already know how lonely their souls can be without true love and commitment and they are emotionally ready to grasp this chance of a lifetime. They have been around long enough to know how rare their type of romantic feeling and connection can be. They will cherish their unique relationship and nurture it forever. My husband and I agreed that the movie could only be watched by couples of "a certain age", rather than young couples still searching for life's meaning. Only people who have lived through the throes of searching for a lifelong mate, then living through the disappointments and joys of struggling relationships, can recognize and appreciate what true love is and how important it is to go with one's heart and seize the moment.
I am 48 years old and have a wonderful romantic relationship with my husband. We are each other's first and only love. Even so, we have worked very hard to keep our marriage alive and mutually passionate. Over the past 25-30 years, both of us have noticed that satisfying relationships are very difficult once people hit their thirties and forties. We have noticed that many older couples never work out their differences and end up bitter and disappointed with life. Many acquaintances of our generation are divorced or still single, never having experienced the sweetness and stability of a true romantic and committed relationship. Romance can be found all the time, from fleeting moments to short-term relationships. One sees it all over the place nowadays, in TV shows and movies, as well as in most modern relationships. However, I would like to emphasize the lasting contentment that a loving commitment brings to one's soul. This is a rare and unique blessing that is missing from too many relationships nowadays, and I find this immeasurably sad. This is a classic movie (excellent story line and top of the line acting) which goes into my list of top romantic movies of all times.
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