PARIS – Stars of Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and Before Midnight, Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy were today found guilty in a French court of having ‘defrauded the public’, a charge which could lead to a hefty fine and a short custodial sentence if the ruling is upheld.
The pair instantly lodged an appeal.
French Magistrate Pierre Fantin stated in his judgement that:
M. Hawke and Madame Delpy have consistently and with malice of forethought raised our expectations as to what to expect when a stranger starts talking to you on a train. Untold damage has been done, with young French women in particular being made vulnerable to danger of assault, when – believing they are at the start of a life long romance – they fall for any old line from a pubicly hirsute backpacking American now. There has been an astronomic rise in the amount of semi-funny babble and meandering anecdote telling, and as heart warming as that is, it also deserves punishment.
The White House today took the unusual step of commenting on the judgement, saying that ‘It was no more damaging than When Harry Met Sally.’ The director of the films – who was not named in the original charges – Richard Linklater said that the case was preposterous and would not deter the team for reuniting for a prequel that was currently being planned. ‘This is a story many have grown to love and I think we will do justice to that,’ said Linklater. ‘Unlike the French court.’
Before Before Sunrise, Sunset and Midnight will be released in 2015.