Ok, my title isn’t true to the film’s last fifteen minutes, but I couldn’t resist.
Le Weekend’s directed by Roger Mitchell (never saw his other films, Notting Hill being one) and stars Jim Broadbent (from my favorite Moulin Rouge), Lindsay Duncan (a new actress to me, but could play Julie Delphy’s mother in a heartbeat, pretty and 64) and (insert trumpets blaring for expertise) Jeff Goldblum
First of all what’s a girl like me (perpetually single a la Marc Maron style, meaning I crave closeness yet feel oppressed the minute a date lasts longer than 3 hours) doing at a movie about the beauty of relationship longevity, aka marriage?
I wanted to see what was green about the other side since it’s been so long since I was on marital turf. Happily I can report that I did not come away super envious, nor depressed of what I have not. I can also be thankful that this couple was not about who Helen Fielding coined as ‘smug marrieds’ , who I unfortunately see way too many of in Rochester, NY, those couples who wear their duoship as if they were Kate and William.
So while the movie didn’t make me feel envious or sad, I do feel a bit alarmed that some feel feminism comes with permission to be verbally abusive to men, which I think is wrong and ugly. When Lindsay’s character Meg calls her husband and f’n idiot or, after pushing him down, tells him to stop being such a girl, that that is verbal abuse. And to reject your husband sexually for what was implied in the film as years, only to demand periodically to be held, is also an abuse of female power. And for men who tolerate that for the sake of: the children, the sanctity of marriage, their family status or bank account, may I just say a very stern, “shame on you” for going green light on a dysfunctional model for your children to continue. Putting men down isn’t funny or right.
On a happy ending positive note, may I say that Jeff Goldblum has that same beautiful quality that John Goodman has; that no matter how depressing the movie, when Jeff (or John) is in a scene, he adds crackle and spice. Jeff’s canape chomping scene where he manically explains his start up second family (young wife included) is priceless and filled with an honesty that the rest of the cloying cast doesn’t quite ever achieve.
No real lesson learned this time around, only a wish that Jeff Goldblum will do more indie flicks.