Le Weekend

Image courtesy of Le Weekend

Image courtesy of Le Weekend

Le Weekend is a romantic comedy directed by Roger Michell (Notting Hill) and written by Hanif Kureishi making it the fourth collaboration between the two of them.

It follows a weekend with Nick (Jim Broadbent) and Meg Burrows (Lindsay Duncan) as they return to the scene of their honeymoon 30 years after the original journey to discover whether they are still compatible now that the children have flown the nest.  It’s a simple idea and one that sets the film up with an obvious target market and may make many younger viewers roll their eyes and turn away.

However, what comes out of this simple premise is a sweet, touching film that can’t help but make you smile.  Jim Broadbent puts in a great performance as the well meaning, intelligent but lacking in adventurous spirit Nick, while Lindsey Duncan as his more adventurous wife keeps up with little issue.  The two of them have fantastic chemistry together and as they slip from seemingly loving moments to bickering and anger with ease you could be mistaken for wondering if the two of them have put up with each other for the last thirty years.  Meanwhile a brilliant appearance from Jeff Goldblum, playing Jeff Goldblum, is as welcome as ever and he really does do it in a way that only he can.

Outside of the performances what makes this film so special is just how easy it is to relate to it.  Nick and Meg are both people with real world issues and are not the usual perfect human beings that populate romantic comedies set in Paris.   While the question of whether after 30 years of marriage you are with someone because of love or because it’s safe and comfortable is one that I’m sure many have experienced.  Paris meanwhile looks exactly like Paris with the Eiffel Tower and all in the background, but the film does manage to avoid too many French stereotypes with the only real recurring tropes being the excellent food.

While Le Weekend may not leap off the board as the obvious candidate for viewing when you visit your local multiplex, you could in reality do a hell of a lot worse.  This is a lovely story of an old married couple figuring out exactly where they are at this stage of their live and due to some great acting and an engaging script it will pull on your heartstrings and provide you with more laughs than many of the big blockbusters currently available.

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