Before Sunset (2004)
Starring: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy
Before Sunset is a sequel to Before Sunrise, one of my all-time favourite movies. It's one of my all-time favourite movies because I've identified with it in a deeply personal way.
When I first saw Before Sunrise the themes and events in the movie mirrored the themes and events of my then 17 year old life. I was in love, for the first time in my life, with a girl who lived in another city. We were hoping to see each other at a later date to finally act upon our feelings, knowing that even if we did, our time would be finite. Like the time of the characters of these two movies.
So the original affected me on a profound level, leaving me completely unable to view it objectively. I tried to review it once, for my film studies course. The review was so bad that I dropped the course (that, and I hated the three hours I spent in class on Tuesday nights after working an eight hour shift). So, instead of reviewing the sequel, I've been rambling about my residue feelings of the previous movie, from nine years ago.
Here's the quick review: if you've never seen Before Sunrise, don't even bother trying to watch this one. Totally inaccessible to newcomers. Well, a newcomer would follow the moving action of the movie, but I can't imagine them caring about it at all. All of the suspense and tension of the movie relies on you being involved in the characters from the first movie. Similarly, if you didn't like the first one, you'll hate this one (although, I can't figure out why anyone would go see a sequel to a movie they didn't like). If you were lukewarm about the first one, skip this one. If you loved the first one, you'll LOVE this movie. I did. It's completely adds to, and in no way detracts from, the experience of the first movie.