zoë’s review published on Letterboxd:
These films are so INFURIATING! It’s this constant back and forth of two people not being on the same emotional waves and it’s like ugh get it together already and just be happy together! It’s giving Marianne/Connell Normal People vibes, and we all know how that ended.
But also I really liked this one compared to Before Sunrise. I like the switch in idealism because we can see more about Jesse’s character and how he’s grown substantially, and I just feel happy for him. Like the scene where he’s talking about how he thinks the world is getting better was really interesting because he and Celine were living in the same world, but they were just looking at it through different perspectives. And his maturity when he was talking about his marriage was such a vast change from the first movie, and I just feel so proud of him like he really came so far. Like him talking about his dreams about her and then she reaches out to touch him.
Also, I take back everything about Jesse not being romantic because everything he said to Celine in the car was just so sigh. And him always trying to move the hair out of her face was just too much. And the way he looks at her with that moony look in his eyes. Just let’s take a moment to process it.
Anyways, the car scene with Celine and Jesse. I think it scares me. What Celine goes through or has been going through is such a valid fear. She used to be so hopeful and dreamy and idealistic and that’s what I loved about her in the first one, and then to see her in this one is just so sad. She gave it all away that one night, and now she spends the rest of her life feeling unworthy or unable to get that same feeling back and it’s so depressing. And in order to deal with this, she’s become so cynically realistic and is in a loveless part time relationship so she doesn’t have to fully confront the truth of her feelings. Becoming like Celine is probably one of my worst fears, and seeing it play out in front of me was ummm not something I want to see. Yes, I teared up and had to pause it for a little especially at that “why didn’t they ask me to marry them” line.
In my Before Sunrise review, I said that I’m glad that they didn’t end up together, but I take it back. I wish they were able to meet back up again in six months because she would’ve been able to help him grow into and accept his idealism and hopefulness, and he would’ve been able to provide her that comfort that it was okay to be dreamy and hopeful.
Also, about an hour and thirteen minutes in, I remembered this is the “Baby, you’re gonna miss that plane” movie that everyone talks about and I started crying, so that’s where I was emotionally. I get it everyone. I get it.