okay dad, i'll keep writing movie reviews...
...as long as you promise to never call me "The Ebert of the Web" again. Do we have a deal?
Tonight I saw a beautiful movie and I'm partially glad and partially very sad that Loverzan wasn't here to see it with me. You see, it's one of the best sequels I've ever seen, and it's about love, and we saw the first movie together. So perhaps you can see how that would be beautiful and also heartbreaking. But too heartbreaking. So I saw it alone. I hope she sees it too.
I saw a review in The Stranger when it came out...a good review. If I remember correctly, the cynical Seattle paper, The Stranger, said to do yourself a favor and go rent the the original movie, Before Sunrise, and then go out and see the Sequel, Before Sunset. That made me remember the first movie and knit my brow in surprise. They made a sequel to that movie?
Okay, now this sounds terrible, but it's a movie about a character played by Ethan Hawke (hey, keep reading!) hanging out all evening with some unknown but extremely cute french lady. All night they walk the streets of France and talk about love and philosophy and sort of try to act cool and give each other a hard time, but can't be blind to the fact that they have some serious feelings for each other. He's leaving in the morning, and after their whirlwind night of love, they make a romantic pact not to exchange numbers, but just to meet at the train station in six months, and that's it.
That's it. They just talk about philosophy all night (they don't even show the sex) and then he goes home. And yet I guess I give up all guy cred I ever had when I say that this movie is truly better than all the Terminator movies in the world. Some of the dialog was cheesy, but something was said, and I wasn't sure what.
So I missed Before Sunset it theaters (cause, you know, whatever) but it just came out on video and I decided to get it. For old times sake or something. And unbelievably it surpassed the original. It's not like they're the two best movies I've ever seen, far from it. But the first movie had something truly special and honest about it, and somehow Richard Linklater (co-writer and director of both movies) manages to go ten years in the future, take it all up one notch, and deepen his presentation.
Near the end of the movie (which I will not reveal) he is noodling about in her apartment, and she's making some tea, and he wanders over to her CD player. He looks through the stacks and just puts something on, without a word. I laughed...that's just what I'd do. Then the first strains of music come on and it's Nina Simone and I think, holy shit, that's really what I'd do. And then he says, "I can't believe I missed her in concert. I can't believe she's gone." Then I thought, Get Out Of My Head Richard Linklater!
But that's why I realized I liked both movies. Because even though both movies have dialog that's a little contrived at times, they both felt like a true portrait of two smart people who didn't really believe in love, but nevertheless were falling in love. Bantering, trying to one up each other, but only tenderly, taking it back, making innuendos and then pretending like it was a joke, acting like it's no big deal when they both know it is, trying to get every moment to count, taking it to the last moment when they can possibly be together...sublime.
Hey, if you go see it and are like...holy shit that was boring...then I'm sorry, I'm a girlie man, what can I say? Chin up, I'll bet they're going to make a IMAX 3D Terminator 4. where some really fuckin' cool robots get blown up by the new kung-fu matrix T-1 Billion and the shards spin and fly towards you and it looks like they're going to drip robot blood RIGHT ON YOU! I'll go see it with you.