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'Le Week-End' review: The woes of dilapidated intimacy

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Le Week-End


"Le Week-End" began its theatrical run in Houston at the Landmark River Oaks theater starting Friday, April 4.

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Meg (Lindsay Duncan) and Nick (Jim Broadbent) are an elderly British couple who have been together for a whopping 30 years, but their marriage is now struggling. They take a trip to Paris for the weekend where they hope to recapture the magic they once had, but even the most well made plans often sway and falter like the ups and downs of a long lasting marriage.

Meg and Nick seem to simultaneously love and hate each other and they loathe that fact to the utmost degree. Nick feels neglected and is constantly chasing after his wife for love, intimacy, and company. Meanwhile Meg is convinced that her marriage is over and that the love is gone between her and Nick; no passion or romance.

The majority of the film is nothing but constant bickering between Meg and Nick. Meg complains about the hotel room being "too beige" as soon as the film begins. She stomps out of the hotel with Nick trailing behind her. They sight-see around Paris in a taxi before Meg picks out the most expensive hotel that catches her eye. While Nick is consistently worried about money, Meg just wants to have a good time no matter what the cost.

Meg's indecisiveness grinds on your last nerve. She tells Nick that she wants him to leave and even has a conversation with him about dumping him on their anniversary, but when she wakes up one night and can't find him she gets upset. Her inability to decide on whether or not to stay with Nick is matched by Nick's fear of desertion. Nick's talk of work forcing him into early retirement and Meg pushing him down and causing him to hurt his knee are the most memorable aspects of the film up to this point.

Things aren't very interesting until Jeff Goldblum comes into the picture, who is just as quirky and weird as you're expecting him to be. However his awkward charm wears thin rather quickly since his admiration for Nick is overwhelming, he blabbers uncontrollably, and his clouded judgement about life in general is rather naive. Meg and Nick spend entirely too much time bonding with other people instead of trying to work on their flat lining relationship.

The peak of the film's enjoyment comes at Morgan's (Goldblum) dinner party where Nick makes this astoundingly morbid and depressing speech that is truthfully bewildering. The last ten minutes or so that follow are also fairly enjoyable, but by then the damage has already been done.

"Le Week-End" is obviously aiming for authenticity between two people who have known each other for a very long time, but the end result is more like 90-minutes full of two hoary geese honking and complaining at each other that is practically excruciating to endure. Despite a moment of greatness in its final moments, "Le Week-End" is neither comedic nor dramatic and is mostly a test of one's patience with hardly any enjoyment whatsoever.


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