Run, do not walk, from this movie
|The Misleading Poster|
assumed it would be a charming, witty, touching comedy dealing with a couple in late middle age coming to terms with their lives. The ads make it look like that, but the reality was something different. I think I was about the only person laughing in the cinema and that was only because I couldn’t reach out and shake the main characters.
|The Contemptuous Wife (Duncan) with Broadbent|
|Visiting Beckett's Gravesite|
Beckett’s “We can’t go on. We’ll go on. (They do not move),” which I’ve paraphrased, has been the basis for every marriage play since Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1962), Beckett’s own Happy Days (1961), but Le Week-End just doesn’t use language in the extravagant, baroque manner of those and the pull of that post-British Empire kitchen sink literally sinks the spirits when these people are in Paris – PARIS – not Birmingham from whence they originate, nor
Detroit, nor Calcutta, but PARIS. We find out all their problems during toasts at a dinner hosted by an old friend, who’s sincerely superficial and played with relish by Jeff Goldblum. I thought it was bad taste bordering on rude to be quite so ‘honest.’
There is one poignant scene between Broadbent and Goldblum’s character’s son, played by Olly Alexander, where they both realize they don’t understand Goldblum and don’t feel too secure with themselves either.
|Alexander and Broadbent|
Even though Broadbent and Duncan give excellent performances, their characters still seem to be more into themselves than each other by the end. He’s a genial schlub lost in a befuddled nostalgia (no, you can’t go back to your undergraduate years and they were nothing like what you think they were) and she’s castrating, hoping for a different future, but not doing much to get there (plus, wherever you go, you take yourself there and you better have enough money to be there). The movie actually lost me about thirty minutes in when the couple eats dinner at an understated, sophisticated restaurant. When they can’t pay, they dine and dash, and I despised them for it. So yes, Gladwell was correct: contempt will kill your positive feelings.