(My review of the film Before Midnight)
It started out intellectual, with casual conversations about sex and human beings and men versus women and the author’s perspective and the anthropologist’s dick. Then it transformed. It transitioned from lightly feathered chit chat and food for thought at the dinner table to the bedroom, where the catastrophes unfolded. At first the dialogue was entertaining. It always was, whether we were seeing the beaches of Greece or nipple or an airplane or a half-eaten apple that the protagonist stole from his daughter. But the transition did come, from light to dark, from dinner to dessert.
By this we mean the bedroom.
By this we mean the argument.
The theatre I was at did have an intermission, and I’m glad it did. It made me really develop an understanding for the two halves of the film. At first, I thought the first half was written by one screenwriter, and the second another because there was a change from generalizations to personal situations.
One such generalization was that when women wake up from comas, the first thing they do is ask how everyone else is doing. How’s my husband? How are the kids? Aunt Janet? Dammit.
Is my penis still there?
Good, it’s there! Life does go on.
And so does Before Midnight. But the strange thing is, there’s no plot–and it’s not boring! Nothing happens, except Jesse’s grandmother or grandfather (it was inconsequential) dies and the couple has a fight. So do all couples. So why was it so riveting?
Character is inversely proportional to plot, and vice versa.
But the thing about this movie, no matter how witty it was, regardless of how charming a character was or how engaging, don’t let it pass you by. Don’t confuse a seemingly strong female lead for feminism. More like feminism thrown off a cliff.