Weekend [2011]

7/10 | 3.Jun.12

DIRECTOR: Andrew Haigh  |  WRITER: Andrew Haigh  |  CAST: Tom Cullen, Chris New  |  UK

[Not a review, really, but a stream-of-consciousness statement of sorts of where I’m coming from.]

I finally got around to seeing Weekend, the gay one not the Godard one, and was pleasantly surprised. It’s a really good movie that rings true even though the premise is a bit contrived. (I wonder if the screenplay started out as a two-person one act play, perhaps written for a university course in playwriting.) Very nice performances by the two leads. I didn’t have problems with the accents, although maybe all the warnings made me extra attentive, but the sound recording did leave a lot to be desired. For a “gay movie” it gets a 9. For a “movie movie”? A really strong 7/10.

OK, that was badly phrased on my part, but I don’t think I’m being condescending. My reactions to love films is complicated and wildly subjective, but let me just say that if Weekend had been about a young man and woman in situations analogous to those in this film and it had been done this well, I can’t imagine going higher than a 6. I really can’t. My emotional response to Weekend, tonight, sitting alone in a hellhole town in the middle of nowhere during a thunderstorm and all of that, was very strong. It was a 9, easy, but that really isn’t an honest rating for it. I think it’s a really, really good movie. I don’t think it’s a great movie because it doesn’t attempt to do great things nor does it do good things in a great way. It does good things in a very, very good way: a 7.

Um, lots of points for me to make so I’ll just shoot a few of them out real fast. Boy-girl romance movies generally leave me cold unless there’s something spectacular about them (the acting is phenomenal, say) or something new and not done before is attempted, or there’s something else like an exotic locale or just something. But an “if only” heterosexual romance flick? About a man and a woman? Eh. It’s been done 10 trillion times before, day in, day out, in movies, on TV, in novels, short stories, poems, songs, operas, musical comedies, ballets, paintings, comic strips. As for gay movies, yes, they automatically get my attention and, usually, hold it when an analogous straight movie might not, but I don’t cut any slack for a badly done gay movie or even a mediocre one; in fact, I think I’m harder on bad gay movies. Although, who knows — I purposely avoid straight movies whose gay equivalents I will avidly seek out. So anyway, I do give extra points in my head for gay movies that are done well. I can’t help it and I’m not about to apologize for it.

One comment

  1. Tom Robinson · · Reply

    weekend gave me a chance to ogle tom cullen starkers pre his glossy turn as lady mary’s period piece whipping boy on downton abbey. for that reason alone, this movie garners an 8 out of ten with me.


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