Review: ‘Le Week-End’

An old British married couple travels to Paris in an attempt to keep the spark in their relationship. She bitches and moans about every little detail from the hotel room to which restaurant to eat at. He’s left blue balled every night after begging for sex and getting rejected at each feeble advance. Tell me again why I should be watching this?

weekend1“Le Week-End” is about an older couple struggling to save their marriage, but in order for that to be compelling, we have to have at least some rooting interest in the characters. Instead, I was left wondering what they were doing together in the first place. Meg (Lindsay Duncan) is cold and regretful of her life, wasted by marriage. Her husband, Nick (Jim Broadbent), is so hungry for just one night of passion that he takes Meg all the way to Paris, desperately hoping that the City of Light will melt away just a sliver of her icy demeanor. He too has not fulfilled his life’s potential, and this is made clear to him when in Paris, he randomly encounters his college friend, Morgan (Jeff Goldblum), who has become a successful author.

The film adequately utilizes its Paris backdrop as Nick and Meg take in the sights of the romantic city, but that’s about as interesting as it gets. They fight. They kiss. They laugh. They cry. All the while, I didn’t care. It’s like watching someone’s travel diary video, and no one is ever interested in watching those unless you’re in it. Perhaps this film’s target audience is the older generation who could possibly relate to this depressing couple. Even if so, I couldn’t imagine why such an audience would want to pay to watch this couple on screen. If I was in a loving marriage, I wouldn’t want to watch a movie about how my marriage could turn sour. If I was in a loveless marriage, I wouldn’t want to see another sad couple’s sad tale, as it would probably remind me of my own. Who is this movie made for?

weekend2The flawed concept could possibly have been saved by a sharp screenplay, but the writing cannot save the film as it goes absolutely nowhere. There’s no buildup to any sort of climax, and the only sign of life is Goldblum’s performance as the successful American author. Even the conclusion leaves you wondering “and so what?”

Don’t let the cheery trailer fool you. Its happy-go-lucky tone is non-existent in the actual film and is just a means to get butts in the seats. “Le Week-End” is one of the most pointless and frustrating movies I’ve seen in a long time.

“Le Week-End” is Rated R and opens at the Consolidated Theatres Kahala 8 this Friday.