If every film had a gimmicky sociology experiment agenda, the medium would be most unenjoyable. But Linklater’s ability to tell stories very much based in real life does not grow stale for me, especially against the backdrop of formulaic 21st century romance.
The first in what currently stands as a trilogy, Before Sunrise is like a three-way date; Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy and I meet on a train, and we immediately hit it off. But it can’t last. Ethan has to catch a flight the next day, leaving me and Julie to decide if our spontaneous connection is worth preserving.
This was sort of my only gripe with Before Sunrise. Throughout every conversation, every insight into either character, it was as though the surface was only being scratched. Of course, we’d only just met, and this is true to life. There’s all that artifice, the feigning interest at every story, that Before Sunrise reflects so accurately.
Film in general can be a pretty great (and, I think, accurate) depiction of romance. There’s all the pressure to be interesting right away, and depending on how good it is, it can either go on too long, or not long enough. Before Sunrise was a beautiful one-time-only romance. It’s nice to be able to see it without being so much in it. Regardless, I’ll pursue this romance with the sequel Before Sunset.