At first glance, the film holds a resemblance to Richard Linklater’s Before trilogy. The resemblance ends at the 24 hour time period, and the film immediately attaches itself on the expectations of love and life. When they first met, Jesse was a budding singer who was at a crossroad between staying with his band and becoming a doctor. Celeste was a graphic designer who felt constrained and limited at her current job. The film then stresses the significance of a conversation between two people, with no strings attached. The night turns out to be magical for both, and in order not to sully that moment, Celeste steps back and both go on their separate ways, until they cross paths again.
Every time the pair meets, the encounter wasn't the same. Yes, they still had strong feelings for each other, but both are in a different stage of their lives. While there was more significance in their second meeting, everything went down in their third meeting. I think the film wanted to show the depth and growth of the characters in terms of their expectations on love, but it didn’t really play that way. Despite the fantastic performances by the two leads, there was a lack of conviction and substance in the script that made them grow. It ended up playing as a ‘will they or won’t they’ kind of film.
It’s not a flawless film, but the performances and direction were strong enough to hold it together. I found myself going back to the concept of great love, and how circumstance can make a decision for someone.