It has been nine years since we last met Jesse and Celine, the French-American couple who once met on a train in Vienna. They now live in Paris with twin daughters, but have spent a summer in Greece on the invitation of an author colleague of Jesse's. When the vacation is over and Jesse must send his teenage son off to the States, he begins to question his life decisions, and his relationship with Celine is at risk.Written by
Peter Brandt Nielsen
In the final scene of Before Sunset (2004), Celine and Jesse discuss their admiration for Nina Simone and Celine dances to "Just in Time." In this film, one of their daughters is named Nina. The name of the other daughter, Ella, is likely a reference to Ella Fitzgerald. See more »
Celine's hair changes after they leave the 1000 year old chapel. Before entering her hair is more compact and after it is more messy. See more »
I am giving you my whole life ok? I got nothing larger to give, I'm not giving it to anybody else. If you're looking for permission to disqualify me, I'm not gonna give it to you. Ok? I love you. And I'm not in conflict about it. Okay? But if what you want is like a laundry list of all the things that piss me off, I can give it to you.
Yeah, I want to hear.
Okay well, number 1, you're fucking nuts! You are. Good luck! Find somebody else to put up with your shit for more than like 6 months okay?...
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Hey, I'm no philistine. I enjoy challenging stuff. But when the credits rolled on this film, I literally gave the screen the finger. I wanted adult fare. But instead, I got whiny, adolescents in adult bodies, with dialog cribbed almost entirely from vapid self-help books. Heck, if the author of "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus" were listed as one of the screenwriters, I would not have been surprised.
This film is actually quite an accomplishment. It's an uber-pretentious, windy, art house movie that actually never says anything of value or importance. It's not even absurdist. It doesn't cover new ground in terms of limning the angst of middle age and thwarted ambition. Instead, it was as if a committee of twenty-something creative writing majors got together and said, "Hey, let's figure out how forty-year-old married couples think and act. They're all dispirited burnouts, right?"
Where do I start? Let's try the clumsy dialog. If the screenwriter were being paid by the word, I would better understand. But the movie is talk, talk, talk, talk without resolution. It's Waiting For Godot or a Woody Allen movie without the wit. It's Edward Albee without guts.
And let's not dignify this as a deep exploration of character, either, for the two main characters are practically templates out of the screen writing academy: The wife fits the cliché role of the bitter harpy with thwarted ambition, and the husband is a self-absorbed nebbish. And both of them just babble on endlessly without either listening to the other. What's more, the ending is so glib, it's apparent that the writers painted themselves into a corner and needed a cheap and facile way to extricate the characters. Seriously, the ending would even be an embarrassment to a Katherine Heigl romantic comedy. Lazy, lazy, lazy.
In the end, it is a movie that is in love with the sound of its own voice. And although the two leads actually do a competent job with the script, one is never transported in this film. One is always aware that one is watching a movie. Even the incredibly long takes begin to work against it (That being said, kudos to the SteadiCam guy). Because all the ten-minute set pieces do is highlight how little is actually being said in all the blather.
So I went to see a grownup movie and, halfway through, started wondering if it was too late to sneak into SuperMan a couple of theaters down. Yes, it was that tedious.
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