Before Sunrise ★★★½

Hmm, I’m very confused on how I feel about this movie. One one hand, I understand the vibes Linklater was going for with the “meet a stranger and you have an instant connection with them but you only have 24 hours to spend with them,”and it reminded me of Barry Jenkins’ Medicine for Melancholy.  But I don’t know.

Jesse’s character was probably the most insufferable character who was just so pessimistic and always went against Celine’s “optimism” (that’s not the exact word I’m looking for but i’m going to use it anyways). What I mean is, every time she got excited or was just living in the fantasy of the world, he always had to parallel it with the reality. Especially during the poem scene. It was so sweet and romantic, and then he had to ruin the moment with his negative realism. I think because of him, I just couldn’t get into their relationship because she just seems so free and open to life and living, and it felt like she was just overlooking the way he combatted her because she felt this connection. Watching this just made me feel a legitimate sadness for her because she deserves someone who will ground her but also uplift her free wiling personality and dreaminess. And during the dinner scene, where she’s asking him about their future and he says “why do people think relationships are supposed to last forever anyways” and she kind of agrees but also looks away sadly. It just makes me sad because she opened herself up to him earlier and told him how even though she makes fun of it, she really wants to find that lifetime loving meaningful relationship, and he’s just kind of like eh that’s not realistic. I guess it could also be him guarding himself but I don’t know. It just felt like she kept giving up her idealism and romanticism for/because of him and it just makes me sad. I’m very glad that they don’t stay together at the end because she deserves someone who will appreciate her and fulfill her romantic idealism while also grounding her in reality. She deserves to find someone who can do both those things without destroying her fantasies instead.

I feel like the whole purpose of this movie is supposed to be a realistic and rational take on the reality of love, but it just seems devoid of the actual love. Where’s the risks you take for love? The nervousness you feel but ignore because you want to be with this person so much. They keep saying to make rational adult decisions, but I think sometimes romance can and should be about making childlike impulsive decisions just because. Why not take the risk? Why are you restricting yourselves from freely loving each other, when you could just do it anyways. If it doesn’t work out then it doesn’t, but why not just try anyways and then see what happens?

I don’t know, maybe this is actually a realistic portrayal of romance. Just because you can have an instant sort of connection with someone, it doesn’t mean that you will agree with everything they do or say and that they will oppose your ideals (which is true and I understand that) but I don’t know. It was wasn’t depressing or anything like that, but it just made me really sad. I guess I’ve always kind of idealized romance based on books and movies, and this kind of destroys that idealism. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but if this is what love is like then...I don’t know. I guess for a movie that people call one of the most romantic movies, it just felt very empty of love.

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