A different kind of trilogy has been playing this summer. No special effects, with a small cast that we have come to know so intimately. In an ending to the Before trilogy, “Before Midnight” has created a precedent for how to make a sequel better than it’s preceding work.
Why does this trilogy work so well? It grows with its audience. At the beginning, Ethan Hawk and Julie Deply were fresh faced young actors playing characters who had were young, traveling in Europe who meet for the first time. Nine years later Jesse and Celine (Hawk and Deply) are now married and dealing with all that comes with that endeavor. When you probably first saw “Before Sunrise” and “Before Sunset” these movies were the sweet romance stories that people only dream of having, now the characters have grown up and they have to deal with that, like everyone else.
Should this be a new idea for trilogies and sequels? Instead of churning out stories year after year, should studios wait for the stories to be digested by the audience and missed before showing the continuing story? In this case, it makes sense why they waited, if you’re using the same actors, they have to age at least a little in order to show a lapse in time.
Why can’t Hollywood do this? Because they want to ride the wave of a good thing. At the end of the day, entertainment is a business and when they see a profitable thing, they want as much of it as possible. Take the “Twilight” series for example. They would keep filming after each movie was made, constantly churning out material for Twihearts to see. Part of it may be our fault. We have become people who don’t like to wait. We want results now. When we see something we like, we want more. If studios wait, they risk fans simply losing interest and moving on to something else.
Although few movies can do what the Before trilogy can, it’s nice to see that this kind of format is possible.