What isn’t “normal” is witnessing the dialogue of another couple in the throes of working through their issues….which is the essence of the compelling new film by Richard Linklater, Before Midnight.
In part 3 of this trilogy, we meet up with Celine and Jesse, nine years since the last film. They now have twin daughters and live in Paris – he is a writer, she an activist. The film takes place while they are on a family vacation in Greece, most of the time in a dialogue that dives deep into a conversation of “what’s next” for them. She vents, he cajoles, ego’s explode, tensions rise, tears fall, and emotions rollercoaster throughout. And, if I weren’t sitting in a movie theatre with a bucket of popcorn in my lap I would swear I was eavesdropping on a real conversation.
What I loved most about this movie, besides for how very real and authentic the characters were in the midst of their relationship struggles, is how Jesse showed up in the film to love Celine in spite of the things she said (even though at one point he does call her the “Mayor of Crazytown”).
Ultimately, his love and commitment to and for her, his willingness to put his sword in the ground and truly love her unconditionally, could be a training video for any man who wants to know how a woman wants to be loved.
The New York Times review described it this way:
“Before Midnight” is a wonderful paradox: a movie passionately committed to the ideal of imperfection that is itself very close to perfect.
I highly recommend this movie for anyone who wants to be, or is, in a long-term relationship. Before Midnight allows us to witness the transformative power of courageously staying in the fire of tumult and the weather of all of our emotions in a way that leads to the magic of healing and re-discovering the flames of romance and passion.
Wishing you love, laughter, and magical kisses!