Before Midnight is a revelation, wrapped up in a seasoned lovers’ quarrel. At times sounding immature and overly callous, but weathering through to moments of honest truths about commitment, growing old, and the re-evaluation of personal expectations. The revelation (perhaps best put by Hawke’s Jesse, “good luck finding someone else to put up with your shit”) is what comes of a relationship when it exits the youthful throws of love and enters the more melancholic and heartfelt arena of middle-aged companionship.
In this third installment, Celine and Jesse are more visibly flawed, less starry-eyed, and more road-wary. They are at a crossroads, at least according to one of them, and the decision on the state of their relationship weighs heavy. But this weight, a product of the passage of time over the three films, makes you commit just a little bit more to the good, the bad and the ugly of them. And honestly, it just would not have felt right if things were too blissful between these two, right? Here’s to the slow burn of the third film, the heart just keeps getting bigger as the wrinkles get deeper.