Review by Sean Boelman
Joining the ranks of Serenity and Wild Mountain Thyme in terms of films that are unfathomably bad and ludicrous despite the talent they involve, the rom-com Long Weekend is the type of movie you have to see to believe. With a twist so stupid you can hardly believe it, the movie is at least entertaining in its full-fledged madness.
The film follows a depressed writer struggling to stay afloat in the world as he meets a mysterious woman with whom he forms an unexpected connection. For the first thirty minutes, this is a pretty standard romance, but around the thirty minute drop, a bombshell so big is dropped that the movie is immediately pushed into so-bad-it’s-good territory.
It would be unfair to say that the film doesn’t swing for the fences, but its ambition is much less impressive than the astounding level to which the movie flounders in its final two acts. There are some truly insane plot points that simply do not blend together well at all. And as a result of the frequently changing direction, the film frequently struggles to find a consistent tone.
The introduction of the movie poses some interesting questions about mental health, but these ideas are largely left unexplored heading into the rest of the film. Instead, the movie seems to suggest that love is the answer to all of the characters’ problems. And while that is a common trope in the romance genre, it feels particularly reductive here.
Part of the film’s issue is that the characters aren’t super likable. While they aren’t characters that one would hate either, their personalities are at least off-putting. The male lead is meant to be very cheeky but instead comes off as somewhat snide. And the ditzy personality of his love interest is such a trope (that even the movie pokes fun at).
It really is a shame that the characters aren’t written better, because there is a talented cast at the center of this film. Finn Wittrock is insanely charming, but the role he has gotten feels too much like a loser for even him to save it. Zoe Chao shows a lot of potential to carry a movie, but the character is too weird to have much of a positive impact.
On a technical level, the movie isn’t bad, even if it is mostly conventional. There are a few nice shots, mostly in montages of the couple bonding, that serve as nice romantic imagery. However, it is very disappointing that the film seemingly introduces an element of music at the end of the first act, only to entirely abandon it for the remainder.
Long Weekend is an abysmal movie, but it is at least entertaining to watch in its nonsensical glory. The core teenage audience probably won’t care enough to read into its stupidity, and those that do will get a kick out of how bonkers it actually is.
Long Weekend opens in theaters on March 12.
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