A lot of people still fondly remember Before Sunrise, the romance Richard Linklater released in 1995 about a couple of young people (played by Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy) who meet on a train, spend a day together in Vienna, and then part ways, perhaps never to see each other again. It’s a quiet little movie about love and relationships, a character piece that focuses pretty solely on maintaining a dialogue and travelogue-esque location spotlighting. But it worked, and the ambiguity of the ending, where you never knew if these two kids with this immediate connection would ever really see each other again, was pretty sublime. So there was a lot of apprehension when it was announced that a sequel, Before Sunset, would be released in 2004, at least on my part.
This one was about the same two characters reuniting nine years later, and this time spending a day together in Paris. Surely this sequel would ruin the perfection of the first film and all of that delicious ambiguity that it left you with, wouldn’t it? Turns out, not really. Before Sunset showed us how Hawke and Delpy’s characters had aged and matured in interesting, but authentic ways, it completely recaptured the magic of the first film, and it diminished the original in no way.
That’s no small feat, but surely a third film would be the charm when it came to ruining what those first two offered up, wouldn’t it? Could Hawke and Delpy walking around a city and gabbing really have the shelf life for a third go-around? I don’t know, but it looks like we’re going to find out.
Hawke was asked to reminisce about his work on Linklater’s romances while doing an interview with Allocine, and he told them that Linklater, Delpy, and himself have all been talking about making a third. Or, in his own words, “I don’t know what we’re going to do but I know the three of us have been talking a lot in the last six months. All three of us have been having similar feelings that we’re ready to revisit those characters. There’s nine years between the first two movies and, if we made the film next summer, it would be nine years again, so we’ve really started thinking that would be a good thing to do. We’re going to try write it this year.”
Going back to the well on this one sounds pretty risky to me, but I was worried about the second film as well, so what do I know? At this point I guess we have to give this crew the benefit of the doubt when it comes to these characters.
What do you guys think? Are there even still as many fans of Before Sunrise and Before Sunset out there as I think there are? [The Playlist]