Saturday, November 23, 2013

Watched - Before Sunset

Before Sunset
R, 80 minutes

'Nine years after Jesse and Celine first met, they encounter each other again on the French leg of Jesse's book tour.'

Having just watched the first movie in this series the other day and absolutely loving it, I was so excited to get this one from Netflix in the mail today.  I had to watch it immediately.  Unfortunately, I didn't like this one nearly as much as the first.

When the first movie ended, Jesse and Celine had made a deal to meet again in six months.  They hadn't exchanged phone numbers or addresses or anything because even though they were totally hooked on each other at that point, they didn't want to attempt a long distance relationship and have it fail.  So that movie ended with the viewer wondering if they'd stuck to their plan and met again.

This second movie starts with Jesse, now a successful author, doing an appearance at a book shop in France.  You quickly figure out that the book he's written is about that time he spent with Celine.  The few people at the signing keep asking him if the girl in the book is real, and if the couple in the book ever meets again.  He keeps avoiding giving them straight answers, so we start out STILL wondering if they ever met up after six months.  While he's talking, he notices Celine standing off to the side, and he gets rather flustered.  The book signing comes to an end right about then, he goes to talk to her, and this is where the story really picks up again.



Pretty early in their conversation, we find out that no, they did not meet up like they'd promised to.  We also find out that one of them WAS there, and we find out why the other was not.  Jesse only has a little bit of time before he has to be at the airport (like an hour or two, I think?) but they decide to go for coffee and talk, get caught up on how life has been treating them all these years.  Jesse is married with a young son now.  Celine has been through several relationships and is currently involved with someone.

While there were a few small parts that I really liked in this movie, overall it was a bit of a let down.  I didn't really like Celine this time.  I liked Jesse's side of things but not really Ethan Hawke in particular.  Actually, they both looked pretty rough this time around.  Obviously they would look older since it's been nine years, but they both looked *a lot* older, and both looked really thin.  I couldn't get away from Ethan Hawke's teeth.  Doh!  Jesse and Celine seemed too comfortable too fast with each other.  There was an emotional scene where Celine spilled her angry and hurt feelings and blamed Jesse for all of her failed relationships.  Jesse's story was kind of sad too but it was Celine's anger that really brought the "What if..."s to life.

There were some quickie flashbacks early in the movie, while Jesse was talking at the book signing, and it reminded me how young and cute they both were back then, and how much I really enjoyed them getting to know each other.  And while I didn't like this movie nearly as much as that first one, I'm still glad I've seen it and am still looking forward to the next one, which Netflix will hopefully get to me next week.

If you've seen this one, what did you think?  I would love to discuss!


  1. Are you still going to watch the last one? I've never done Netflix so I'm not sure how long you can keep it. I liked the extended preview I saw, you feel like you're in Greece and it is relaxing.

    I agree with you about this one, I wasn't pulled into the update on their lives or their dialogue. I felt like the writers looked at the calendar, realized it was time for another movie and threw something together quickly. Anyway, I'm on the waiting list at my library for the new one.

  2. I've had the third/last one sitting here for over a week now. I'm just not as anxious to watch this one since I was disappointed in the second one. I'm going to *TRY* and watch it today after the Vikings game.

    As far as Netflix, you can keep the dvd for however long it takes, but you just won't receive any other ones until that one is returned.