Richard Linklater brings his 'Before' trilogy to close this week with 'Before Midnight,' in which we pick up with Celine (Julie Delpy) and Jesse (Ethan Hawke) 10 years after the second film. 'Before Sunrise' found our characters making an unlikely, serendipitous connection; 'Before Sunset' examined how they evolved 10 years later, and whether that initial connection could stand the test of time; and 'Before Midnight' gives us an incredibly honest portrait of relationships.
In life, a first kiss is the beginning of a relationship. In romantic comedies, it's almost always the end of the story. At this point we all just accept that because we've seen it played out onscreen hundreds of times, but isn't it weird? Shouldn't there be more to onscreen romances than that?
If your answer to that question is "yes," then you'll probably enjoy '2 Days in New York,' a romantic comedy about a couple that's way past first kisses. True, the film's jokes are occasionally unfunny and its tone is frequently shrill. But you know what? Life is occasionally unfunny and frequently shrill. This movie understands that.
'2 Days in New York,' Julie Delpy's follow-up to '2 Days in Paris,' her 2007 romantic dramedy, is much more humorous than its predecessor but lacks the punch of exploring neuroses in relationships. And perhaps that's because '2 Days in New York' examines the way a relationship works rather than the ways in which it falls apart -- and that's okay, too.
In addition to her long acting resume, Julie Delpy seems to be carving out a nice, modest little career as a director. It's just that the director happens to be named Woody Allen.