Before We Go has all the things required for it to become this generation’s Before Sunrise: two attractive and talented leads; a plausible meet cute; a colorful backdrop. But, and this is an ailment that affects not only this movie but all other of its ilk, it lacks the factor that made Before Sunrise the most memorable movie romance in recent ages: a compelling script.
Celine (Julie Delpy) and Jesse (Ethan Hawke) linger not because their conversations revolved around love, but because it seemed they made an effort not to talk about it. Their exchanges, then, were as varied and random as to include religion, philosophy, reminisces, jokes and everything in between. Part of the reason the trilogy is so achingly romantic is because the viewer can instantly imagine him or herself in their shoes, and its because the conversations seem so natural and effortless. Growing up with the Hollywood fed idea that a man and a woman will fall in love by behaving romantically and heroically and chatting in dulcet tones about sweet affairs, the Before trilogy is so unique because it upended everything that had until that moment adorned the screen. In not trying to be romantic, it became one of the most romantic films ever made; in trying to mimic life, it became one of the most powerful and heartbreaking pictures about love ever put to film.
And maybe it’s a good thing that most movies that have been produced since and have tried to emulate it have failed. If Boyhood epitomizes time in a movie, then the Before trilogy epitomizes love.