My love for Before films is not hidden from anyone. In my opinion, they are the greatest movie trilogy that cinema has ever seen (yes, I am aware of The Godfather trilogy).
What makes Before films so great is that each of the three films apart from being romantic, funny,enlightening and heart wrenching, are about us and who we are: Love seeking and insecure, figuring out all our lives whether what we did, the choices we made, the paths we relinquished, were they right or not.
The Massive success of Before Sunrise and Before Sunset — especially among true cinephiles —gave rise to a kind of new movie genre: walk-and-talk. And in the last few years, there have been several films made where two characters just walk around a city over the course of a day or night and have revealing conversations.
Not all of them are good, but some of them are actually more than watchable. In fact, I am sure you are going to like the below listed films similar to the Before trilogy — Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and Before Midnight. You can watch some of these movies like Before Sunrise on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.
1. Before We Go
A woman misses the 1:30 train from New York to Boston and a street musician spends the night trying to help her make it back home before her husband does. Throughout the night they learn a lot about one another and eventually find a romance. ‘Before We Go’ has its flaws — primarily that Chris Evans, the director-cum-actor, tries to stuff a lot for a film that’s just one night long — but it has its charming moments too. Overall, you will enjoy the film if you like the Before trilogy.
2. Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong
Outside a bar Ruby, an American children’s toy designer temporarily in Hong Kong, meets an American expat Josh, who offers to walk her to her destination. As they walk and talk they find a connection sparking between them.
A walk and talk romance set in the beautiful city of Hong Kong, the film asks the question: what happens when you meet the right person at the wrong time? Clearly inspired from ‘Before Sunrise’, ‘Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong’ may not be as good, but is enjoyable one-time watch.
3. In Search of the Midnight Kiss
On New Year’s Eve, author Texan Wilson, still broke and lonely in L.A. after three years since Karen dumped him, follows the advice of his lifelong Texan buddy Jacob to try dating the modern way, by social network site.
Wilson gets chosen by would be-actress Vivian, a blatantly abusive feminist who promises him no intimacy at all, just a seasonal midnight kiss. They grow closer as they learn about each-other’s lives, including her violently vindictive ex Jack. Alternating between funny and sweet, ‘In Search of the Midnight Kiss’ will be enjoyed more by the people who have had similar experiences.
4. Southside With You
‘Southside With You’ tells the story of Michelle Robinson’s first date with Barack Obama. It is 1989 and Michelle is preparing to meet Barack Obama, who is doing his internship in the same law firm as Michelle .
Michelle goes on to the date thinking (or at least pretending) that it is not a date, while clearly Barack has only one thing in mind: to court Michelle. During the day that they spend with each other, they visit the Art Institute of Chicago, go to a community center, view a screening of Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing, and finally, have their first kiss outside an ice cream parlor.
While the subject of their conversations range from personal to socio-political, it never stops being intellectually engaging. The reason Before series of films work is the reason also why ‘Southside With You’ works: the conversations between the characters are always interesting and revealing.
The story begins with unemployed Manu in search of money to finance his new business as he has lost his earlier job at a jute mill. On his quest, he visits Neeru in Calcutta, to whom he was engaged six years ago. During the rainy evening, the couple reminisce about their former love and how each ended up in their current situation.
Oddly funny and intimately effective, ‘Raincoat’ is one of those rare films that lingers on your mind long after the credits have rolled and might even make a reappearance in your sub-conscience months or years later.
‘Raincoat’ tells more about love — and human nature in general — than most of the romantic films that you might have ever seen. It tells us that forgoing love is difficult. But what is even more difficult is confronting the pain that comes afterwards. ‘Raincoat’ is quite simply one of the greatest romantic films made in India. Original love stories don’t come in better form or shape than this.
6. Last Night
The film centers on Joanna and Michael Reed, a successful and happy couple. They are moving along in their lives together until Joanna meets Laura, the stunningly beautiful colleague whom Michael never mentioned. While Michael is away with Laura on a business trip, Joanna runs into an old but never quite forgotten love, Alex. As the night progresses and temptation increases, each must confront who they really are.
‘Last Night’ is beautiful in the way it explores the dynamics of relationships: old and new. It asks you tough moral questions that have no clear or easy answers. Is cheating only physical? Or is it emotional as well?
7. Certified Copy
James Miller has just written a book on the value of a copy versus the original work of art. At a book reading, a woman gives him her address, and the next day they meet and take a country-side drive to a local Italian village. Here, they discuss various works of art found in the town, and also the nature of their relationship — which gets both more revealed and concealed as the day progresses.
‘Certified Copy’ is easily one of the most original and interesting films I have ever seen. The idea that it is based upon is endlessly fascinating. In life, we are slaves to our desires and circumstances, in effect, mostly trying to be someone else. We create a perception of reality around us that may or may not exist.
But does that mean we cease to be original? Or are we just certified copies of the person we want to be? This whole idea of us not being our true selves is beautifully captured through conversations in the film.