Before Sunrise is a film about two strangers meeting and spending a whole day together. The opening scene focuses on a couple fighting in German. I thought I was watching the wrong movie at first because there were no subtitles. As it turns out, this fight is what brought Jesse and Celine together.
The whole game they play was perfect. She made the first move by choosing a seat across from him. He then asks her out to the lounge. It was at this moment that Celine was able to develop trust in him which later led to her agreeing on a casual rendezvous with someone she just met. Every move was made with perfect timing and quick, thoughtful planning.
They begin to explore Vienna while getting to know not only each other, but also the people of Vienna. Their interaction with others as a couple seemed as though they’ve known each other for years. The poet on the waters was my favorite. I agree with Jesse when he says the bum probably had a pre-written poem and slipped in the chosen word. Regardless, the poem was still effective and he made bank.
Out of all the date spots, the cutest would be the record store where they were trading flirting glances at each other. The impromptu date continues and they share thoughts on everything including life, love, religion, feminism and family. It wasn’t until much later in the night when they talk about dating and whether they were seeing anyone at the moment. It was in this moment where I thought of an earlier scene when Jesse was talking about his 24-hour documentary idea. Rather than filming normal people doing regular things, this is what should be filmed – spontaneous, impromptu blind dates from around the world.
I wish I can develop a memory like this movie sometime in the near future. I doubt such a thing would be possible here in New York City where everyone has places to be, things to do. I would definitely have to travel elsewhere where people have a more laid back lifestyle or are on vacation. The ending of the film was nicely put. You see all the places they went to the day before as the sun rises. There aren’t as many people or much life compared to how we saw the different locations prior, but a blank slate where new memories are ready to be made.
Six months from their first date, I think Jesse will be disappointed to discover that Celine has a boyfriend. She did keep her end of the deal by meeting him at said time and place but, let’s face it, Celine is much more of a catch than Jesse and probably found herself a boyfriend in one of her classes. As for Jesse, he definitely talked to women back in the States and probably slept with them too. He just didn’t keep a relationship with them due to the fact that Celine was always there in the back of his mind. Every memory with her was perfect, including the little fight they had.
If I had to choose, I’d like to experience Jesse and Celine’s date rather than that of Cecilia and the protagonist of Brian Dunphy’s Satire Brew. Jesse and Celine went to many more places and talked about a lot more things.