Summer is pretty much reserved for franchise films. Mercifully, there’s one this season that doesn’t feature men in tights, bachelor-party blackouts, or Smurfs. Its main characters are two normal people just talking…and talking. In a good way. Eighteen years after they first fatefully flirted in Vienna (Before Sunrise), and nine after they reunited in Paris (Before Sunset), transcontinental art-house couple Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Céline (Julie Delpy) are together again in Before Midnight. And we mean together. The two are now married with kids and vacationing in Greece, where they try to rekindle the spark that drew them to each other over long aimless walks and impossibly sexy Nina Simone ballads.
”The first two films were about connecting and romance,” says Delpy. ”This one is about how do you sustain a loving, romantic relationship in the long run with kids and problems.” Spoiler alert: not easily. Although Richard Linklater’s trilogy feels made-on-the-fly, Delpy says each chapter actually takes a couple of years to write. Since the production ends up being almost cathartic, the actress says she can imagine keeping the series rolling for several more installments: ”I was joking the other day that the last one we do will be Amour.”