Director: Richard Linklater
Starring: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy
Country: USA, Austria, Switzerland
In honour of Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d write about one of my favourite films and, in my opinion, one of the most romantic films of all time.
It’s a pretty simple premise: American boy meets French girl on the train and they spend the night walking and taking together around Vienna. With their limited time together always in the forefront of their minds, Jesse (Hawke) and Celine (Delpy) discuss anything and everything about life and love and their differing views on such matters.
For a film about two people just talking with one another, there is never a dull moment. The joy of the film is purely in getting to know the characters and watch as they get to know one another and gradually fall in love. Hawke and Delpy have a natural chemistry and nothing they ever say feels stiff or contrived. Just like real life, neither character is perfect and that’s what makes the film more personal and relatable, not only to what they’re saying, but to how they are feeling.
It is a stripped down romance film that is all about the art of conversation. This is not romantic Hollywood fluff; it is a sincere, beautifully written masterpiece with two leads who will always feel more real than fictional. The beauty of the film lies in its simplicity; however, the real beauty is that it managed to spawn two equally brilliant sequels.
“Listen, if somebody gave me the choice right now, of to never see you again or to marry you, alright, I would marry you, alright. And maybe that’s a lot of romantic bullshit, but people have gotten married for a lot less.”