"Before Midnight": Married, With Beauty

Ever notice how when someone mentions that they've been married for a decade or more, the general reaction is not, "Well, of course you're still together, because marriage is a sacred covenant with God which no man may put asunder," but usually more along the lines of, "Wow. How have you made it work for so long?" Richard Linklater's Before Midnight addresses the latter issue, as Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) from 1995's Before Sunrise and 2004's Before Sunset are now married with children of their own. As their summer vacation in Greece draws to a close, they try to figure out what to do with the rest of their lives — and whether or not they actually want to spend those lives with each other. Familiarity with the first two films is not required, and this third may actually be a purer emotional experience for those who don't already have an emotional connection to the characters; average grown-ups will likely have their own deep well of disappointment and heartbreak to draw from. But Before Midnight is not all wrist-slashing domestic turmoil — it's also very funny, shot on beautiful Greek locations with delicious-looking food (mmm, dolma!), and Delpy's "American Bimbo" impression is almost worth the price of admission.

 
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