Before Sunrise

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +1 1/2

Content: -2

Ethan Hawke reprises his role as a "slacker" from REALITY BITES in his new movie, BEFORE SUNRISE. He plays Jesse, a sarcastic American college student who is traveling aimlessly around Europe. On the train to Vienna he meets Celine (Julie Delpy), an uptight French girl on her way back to the Sorbonne. Jesse persuades Celine to spend the day with him in Vienna until his plane leaves the next day. The rest of the film traces their brief stay in Vienna, recounting all the things they can do "before sunrise." Mostly, they talk and talk until the inevitable Hollywood moment of the sexual encounter. Though the script makes an attempt at being high-brow and "philosophical," the dialogue comes out sounding like two people whining at each other for two hours. The supreme moment of revelation comes as Celine discovers that "the answer lies in the attempt." Unfortunately, this "attempt" at movie-making leaves unanswered the question, "why should we see it?"

Perhaps because of all the conversation, there is little time for much objectionable material. There is no violence, nudity or homosexual conduct in the film, which is commendable. On the other hand, because of all the conversation, script writers decided to put enough foul language and sexually suggestive dialogue to make up for that void. Veiled as well as overt references to sex permeate the film, along with many obscenities. The "romantic" conclusion is a one-night affair in the park. Sex is implied but no nudity is shown. The movie seems to preach that this brief, passionate encounter is about all anyone can hope for in life. There is no possibility for long-term married love or even a long-term friendship commitment to another person. Quite different from the relationship Christian couples can enjoy a lifetime of growing, not apart, but increasingly more intimate.

Preview Reviewer: Greg Wilson
Columbia Pictures, 10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Few (4) times - Mild 2, Moderate 2

Obscene Language: Many (30) times (f-word 7 times, s-word 14 times, others 9)

Profanity: Few (2) times - Exclamatory

Violence: None

Sex: Implied once, no nudity

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Many times - references to intercourse, kissing scene

Drugs: Social drinking

Other: Belief that meaningful long-term relationships are impossible

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Young adults

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