Monday, May 22, 2006

BEFORE SUNRISE / BEFORE SUNSET


Romance double feature of the week:
BEFORE SUNRISE
BEFORE SUNSET

BEFORE SUNRISE:
Since its release in 1995, this has become the benchmark for romantic films. It has a simple premise. A young man and woman meet on a train to Vienna (don't worry, it's in English ........ sheeeesh). They strike up a conversation, they're getting on .......

But HE has to get off in Vienna to catch a plane, and SHE is going on to Paris. So he convinces her to get off in Vienna and catch a later train to Paris. That way they can spend a couple extra hours together. She goes for it (otherwise there would be no movie).

Now, if you only have a couple hours, what do you say to make someone fall in love with you? Since the movie is just under two hours, the story takes place in near-real time. The long unbroken camera shots intensify this effect and add to the urgency of the romance.

No sex, not much action, but lots of great writing and great acting. It won universal critical acclaim when it was released, so why haven't you heard about it? Don't get me started.

BEFORE SUNSET:
The sequel. Features the same two actors playing the same two characters. When this movie was released, fans of the first movie were skeptical. They wanted to know what happened next to the characters, but were certain that it couldn't possibly compare to the first film. They were wrong.

This film was released 9 years after the first. In the story, it's 9 years later. I won't tell you what happens because I don't want to spoil the first movie for you. Like the first, it takes place in almost real time. And like the first, the story is driven mostly by dialog.

So, in summary:
  • These ARE date flicks (as opposed to "chick" flicks) . So watch them with your date.
  • This is about as realistic a romance as you will find in movies.
  • You missed them when they came out at the theater, don't miss them now.
  • Watching them both together is a little bit of an overload. For best results, watch them about a week apart.
  • Good diversion from movies like POSEIDON, or DA VINCI CODE, or movies you have to watch because your small kids are around. Send them to bed and watch these. Maybe you'll get some tonight.

Enjoy.

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