Before Sunset (2004)

Before_SunsetIn this sequel to Before Sunrise we come back nine years later.

There is a certain degree of eagerness and nervousness as we wait to hear what happened in the months following Before Sunrise. We find out that Jesse and Celine did not actually meet 6 months after their first encounter. In all reality, what were we expecting? I myself had a secret hope that they would meet again. It’s the romantic in me, but that’s not how life ends up working out. Jesse showed up but the sudden death of Celine’s grandmother detained her. That’s one of the plights of this human existence.

Now Jesse is a writer who made a book about their evening together and one day in Paris while promoting his book there is Celine smiling through the window.

Here they are back together again nine years later with 1 hour to catch up before Jesse has to take a flight back to the States. With the passing of the years we now find ourselves watching an older, wiser, pair. They are both married now.

Jesse has lost the long hair and he is not quite so young in the face but it is still the same guy. Celine is still very pretty but more mature than the young French girl from the earlier film. Most importantly of all they still have a knack for deep, highly personal conversations.

A lot is covered as they chat through the streets of Paris. My most favorite moment however comes when Celine plays Jesse the Waltz she wrote. It is a beautiful little ballad in its own right and it shows her personal connection with Jesse that still lasts over all these years. What he encapsulated in his best selling book she documented in a song. We leave them once again as two slightly different people who still have a penchant for conversation, love and sentiment.

The film starts and like a blip on the radar it is already finished. In some regards it is rather disappointing, but not as unsatisfying as this short rendezvous must be for Jesse and Celine.

I have no bitterness, my sweet
I’ll never forget this one night thing
Even tomorrow, another arms
My heart will stay yours until I die

Let me sing you a waltz
Out of nowhere, out of my blues
Let me sing you a waltz

~A Waltz for a Night

4/5 Stars

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