Before Sunrise ★★★★★

The enchanting Before Sunrise is the Gen-X My Dinner with André, and it deserves the comparison. Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, obnoxious in Reality Bites and White respectively, blossom in the gentle hands of Richard Linklater, who tells a simple tale of two young people falling in love with each other's mind and soul during a long nighttime walk through Vienna. Having handled casts of zillions in his first two films (Slacker and Dazed and Confused), Linklater must have rented My Dinner with André and decided that looked easier. Jesse (Hawke) and Celine (Delpy) meet on the Eurorail. She's going home to Paris; he's stopping in Vienna to catch a plane back to America. He convinces her to step off in Vienna with him, and for the entirety of the movie (which never feels talky or inert) they drink in the great sights and bare their souls. In someone else's hands, Before Sunrise might come off as a stillborn experiment -- you'd be waiting for the movie to start. Here, eventually, you feel that the film is about one of the few things that truly matter. Sometimes a bit glib, but lovely and satisfying; you have to love a director who loves words this much.