DIRECTED BY: Roger Michell
WRITTEN BY: Hanif Kureishi
STARRING: Jim Broadbent, Lindsay Duncan, Jeff Goldblum
RATING: 2.5 stars
Le Week-End is a bit like a Woody Allen film, but it is not quite as good. The film is a quirky romance with a valuable life lesson for ageing couples worried that the spark in their marriage has gone. But it is also slow-paced and it is difficult to maintain the momentum of the film, which for the most part, only involves two characters. It would perhaps have been better as a play. Nonetheless, the performances are good and it is always lovely to see imagery of Paris.
University professor Nick (Jim Broadbent) and teacher Meg (Lindsay Duncan) visit Paris to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary in the hopes of rekindling their romance after years of disappointment. Nick is an intellectual who has recently been fired for making a politically incorrect comment to a student, while Meg hates her job. Both are struggling to deal with their troubled adult son. While on their weekend getaway, they bump into Nick's former schoolmate Morgan (Jeff Goldblum) and soon everything starts to unravel.
Broadbent is very good in this film and you cannot help but feel sympathy for his professional and personal plight. However, it is a little uncomfortable to watch him trying to be in any way sexual with his on-screen wife. Duncan's character is less likeable and yet somehow still surely relatable to many people. The scene of her trying to flee from a restaurant without paying for a meal is especially funny. Goldblum seems to be playing his usual wacky self. His character is integral to the final act but he is a little too extreme at times.
Le Week-End is probably a thought-provoking film for long-term couples, but it is certainly not the feel-good romantic comedy set in Paris you might be hoping for.