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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 20.31%
Average: 18.75%
Pretty Bad: 4.69%
Total Crap: 1.56%

4 reviews, 40 user ratings

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Before Sunrise
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by Dr Nick

"There is such a thing as a meaningful one-night stand"
4 stars

Something very rare. A romantic comedy that manages to be just that, both romantic AND funny. Linklater's dialogue-driven romantic race against the clock is one of the great modern date movies. All talk and not much action? Perhaps, but when it's this well-written who needs action?

Usually the mere suggestion of watching a romantic comedy is enough to send shivers down my spine. Ninety minutes of watching women I don’t like falling for guys I want to kill or vice versa. I can think of better ways to spend my time. Somehow, because experiences of love and romance are so personal, it seems almost impossible to find a film that feels realistic and is sweet and moving without falling into the deep abyss of mushy sentimental goop. It’s especially difficult to find romantic comedies suitable for both sexes. They’re either too fluffy and cute for us macho men to handle or too sinister and dark for the little ladies. But, every now and again a film pops up that manages to perform this gargantuan task. Before Sunrise is one of those rare films, a romantic comedy which manages to be just that, both funny and romantic. Of course, there are some dodgy bits in it where it's all a bit too nice and you just want to smack both Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke for being so perfect for each other, but as a whole it's just a really, really nice film.

So, what is it all about? Jesse, an American college student is planning to spend the final day of his European travels in Vienna, before catching a flight back home. On the train there he bumps into Celine, a Parisian beauty and a connection is made. He convinces her to get off the train and explore Vienna together with him. They see the sights and gradually fall in love, with his time of departure getting closer and closer.

The most appealing thing about Before Sunrise lies in its simplicity. Since there is no real plot to follow, the audience is allowed to just sit back, relax and enjoy these very likeable characters in their romantic race against time. They go to bars, talk, dance, talk and talk. Not an easy task for an actor. Thankfully, the casting couldn't have been more perfect. The chemistry between the two leads is outstanding and there is no way the film would have worked otherwise. In true Linklater style, much of dialogue border on annoyingly pretentious, but both Delpy and Hawke manage to pull off the pseudo-intellectual bullshit admirably well. The contrast between Jesse's deep-rooted cynicism and Celine's optimism keeps their conversations interesting and it's very hard to dislike either of them. Actually, the whole film is very likeable and almost makes you belive in true love. Almost.

Two people trying to make the most of the short time they have together in a new city. It's sweet. It's funny. It's everything most rom-coms wish they were.

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originally posted: 11/18/05 08:16:40
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Seattle Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Seattle Film Festival series, click here.
Trilogy Starters: For more in the Trilogy Starters series, click here.

User Comments

9/25/13 David Hollingsworth simple, but brilliantly honest 5 stars
8/05/13 Jon All fluff and no depth 2 stars
9/28/12 Quigley Arguably the most romantic film ever made. Who wouldn't want this to happen to them? 5 stars
6/11/11 Jack Lantern Great film, and the sequel is even better. 5 stars
4/11/10 Cctv9 Great job! 5 stars
10/11/08 Annie G A must see for fans of ‘Before Sunset’ but expect to be mildly disappointed. 3 stars
9/15/08 MightyMichael Reid I loved it and it is the perfect romantic movie cannot wait to see the third one! 5 stars
5/04/07 Bunty To me, the movie was convincingly 'ordinary', perhaps our critic was expecting a melodrama 4 stars
3/17/07 Double M Boring?! stick to Van Damme movies, kids. This's a WONDERFUL romance about realistic people 5 stars
11/18/06 Indrid Cold Hard to imagine that anyone could make a better indie romance. 5 stars
8/15/06 wanderson i didn't like that movie, because people spoke all time, so it's so bad! 2 stars
11/26/05 NepruSmelu Mantalk about boring! Maybe I am to old but the dialogue was banal at best. Overated! 2 stars
11/19/05 Lisa Jochelson Good movie, you must be sober and not tired to watch this movie 3 stars
8/08/05 yuko great conversation and discussion of the two of them 5 stars
5/02/05 J K Rowling a little dull and boring 3 stars
1/26/05 Evimeleth Beautiful, enchanting, and fulfilling. A must see. 5 stars
12/15/04 Marce -This- is what poets mean when they use the word "love". 5 stars
12/02/04 Erin Waldrop Lots of talk but not bad. 4 stars
11/13/04 Monday Morning I haven't seen it but I think it's probably awesome. 5 stars
8/02/04 Ryan Semi-interesting, but some of Linklater's philosophical suggestiveness doesn't impress. 3 stars
6/25/04 Ray I dont really care so much for romance, but this is excellent 5 stars
4/03/04 Michael The finest, most intelligent and thoughtful film ever made. A true work of art 5 stars
3/28/04 john not exactly a cornerstone of romantic movies but nicely done 3 stars
3/17/04 Atanu Not very intelligent, posey, no wonder some people like it. 1 stars
1/24/04 daniela camero i love this movie! 5 stars
4/08/03 Ondra My favourite 5 stars
2/08/03 natasha_theobald unpredictable romance not afraid to be ambiguous, if not at times tedious 4 stars
1/21/03 tina excellent 5 stars
8/17/02 Dark Barøn Yep, it's romantic alright. 4 stars
7/10/02 Joffee exellent 5 stars
5/20/02 CJ One of the best romantic movies I've seen. 5 stars
4/04/02 KB The more I see it, the more I love it!! 5 stars
11/27/01 sdfr Two strangers fall in love in Vienna. Memorable 5 hanky weeper posing as art house romance. 4 stars
12/28/00 Andrew Trigg Touching film that should appeal to anyone who's not totally cynical! 5 stars
10/18/00 nam one of my favorites 5 stars
8/24/00 Michael Middleton A smart, touching film. One of the most emotionally honest movies I have ever seen. 5 stars
8/09/00 lina cheaply made film full of love, life, beauty , laughter and uncertainty 4 stars
7/02/99 Sleeper Anyone want to run away to europe with me? Vienna is to die for. 4 stars
4/12/99 Randall Perfect modern day romance 5 stars
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  27-Jan-1995 (R)


  02-Feb-1996 (M)

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