Before Sunrise stands as one of the greatest romance stories of all time. The plot may seem a little cliche, boy meets girl on a train and they sweep each other of their feet, but Linklater's film has become a modern day cult classic because it breaks through most conventions of romance genre films (or any films for that matter) and creates an intoxicating sense of realism, inviting the audience into Jesse and Celine's exclusive little world, one that you'll never want to leave.
Jesse charms Celine into spending the day with him in Vienna. Fully aware that they both must return home eventually, Jesse and Celine entertain each other as a lark knowing that the hands of time have doomed any potential romance of theirs from the start. This Cinderella effect forces them to cut through the usual getting to know you type bullshit facade people usually project during first dates and you see the intense chemistry between the two is not only instant, but real, and they revel in it throughout the entire film.
Not a single word was spoken in that booth but their eyes and mannerisms said it all. Subtlety George Lucas, look it up.
The film takes place in the course of about twelve hours. It's called Before Sunrise for a reason. As soon as morning comes their fairytale must end. Linklater's 2004 film Before Sunset takes place nine years later and we see what's become of Jesse and Celine as they've grown into adulthood. It takes all the awesomeness of Before Sunrise to the next level, (dialogue, acting, camera work...Sunset even feels like it's playing out in real time) but that's a different post for a different day. If you've never seen Before Sunrise and my ranting has peeked your interest I'd urge you to check this film out for yourself ASAP. I'll guarantee you'd be fiending (yes FIEND) to see Before Sunset immediately afterward and never want to leave the pocket romantic European universe Jesse and Celine inhabit.