They'll Be Your Mirror

Before Midnight is a raw, revelatory portrait of a romance. It might also look like your life

I have finally caught up with Jesse and Celine. It's taken three films, at nine-year intervals--Before Sunrise (1995), Before Sunset (2004) and Before Midnight (opening May 24)--but I am no longer jealous of their romance. All three of us are now 41-year-old parents with similar fears and complaints. Their lives have become less the stuff of fantasy and more the stuff of resentments, recriminations and regrets. So, more accurately, they have caught up to me.

Though each of the Before movies is a romance set in a gorgeous European location (Vienna in Sunrise, Paris in Sunset, a Greek island in Midnight),...

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