Chris and I are absolutely thrilled to introduce you to our new series, “Dinner Plans!” In this series, you will be getting the best of both worlds! I will be creating a special menu for your night in and Chris will contribute a film with a short synopsis and review; all you have to do is the grocery shopping! Since we both work together, including driving in the same car day in and day out, we get plenty of time to “catch up” or discuss the true meaning of life. After spending so much time with your spouse, the arsenal of things to talk about runs a little dry. One way we have been able to re-connect is watching movies together. Sure, we will watch our fair share of “guilty pleasure” movies that don’t require too many brain cells but what really inspires us are the movies that allow us time to process and discuss afterwards. Similar to marriage, films don’t always give us the full answer or at least the answer we are looking for. But the beautiful part of watching a film like this with your spouse is it causes both of you to share what you think and that is always a great way start to any conversation! I hope this encourages you to be intentional with your date nights, even if it’s just an evening at home. This week we dive into the Mediterranean with an inspired meal and the film, “Before Midnight.”
For your night in the Mediterranean menu (click on the titles listed to be taken to the actual recipe):
Herbed Feta Mini Peppers
Winter Stuffed Shells
Blood Orange Mousse Trifle with an Easy Caramel Sauce
Could you imagine what Romeo and Juliet’s relationship would’ve been like if they decided not to “romantically” commit suicide? Would they have grown tired of each other and broken up, realizing that they weren’t soul mates but instead young foolish kids who wanted what they couldn’t have at the time? If Jack and Rose had managed to get on a lifeboat together making there way for New York City, would Rose complain to Jack about his lack of maturity and how they are always broke because no one is buying Jack’s paintings. In the Before series (Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and Before Midnight), Linklater tackles this idea of what happens to “star crossed lovers” after the falling in love stage is long gone.
Director Richard Linklater’s (Boyhood and Dazed & Confused) Before Midnight is the third film in a trilogy that follows a couple who we’ve encountered for one day every nine years of their relationship. In this 2013 installment, the couple are now in a committed relationship since we saw them last, in the previous film Before Sunset. We catch up with Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Deply), while they are on a family vacation in the southern part of Greece with they’re twin daughters and Jesse’s son from a previous marriage. In Before Midnight, we find the couple have passed the courtship/honeymoon stage of love and now reside in the “getting real” stage with each other.
With this film and several other Linklater films, most recently Boyhood you come to realize he is not only fascinated with our relationship with other people but our relationship with time. At the center of Before Midnight, time together has allowed for a more interesting chapter in this film series between these two characters. Long is gone the adoring, “we are falling in love” phase of their relationship that we, the audience, have come comfortable with seeing not only in this series but also in cinema in general. Instead, Linklater, Deply, and Hawke are more intrigued with what happens to romance once you’ve become comfortable with your partner.
Hawke and Deply do an amazing job (as always in the series) establishing themselves and each other in this film as the embodiment of the characters. They haven’t missed a beat since last we saw them, which just makes you at ease while watching the two of them, like they are old friends of yours. The writing is masterful during the entire film but the closing fifteen minutes is really a tour de force of acting and writing.
This is the perfect date night movie for any couple, whether you’ve been dating for a month or married for ten years; you’ll find something that is relatable or will one day be relatable to you. Also, after watching Before Midnight, you’ll want to plan your honeymoon or anniversary in the beautiful location of the film, the southern region of Greece, which almost plays as a character itself in the beautiful film. Enjoy.