“Long Weekend” is a gem of an indie rom-com

March 11th, 2021 Posted by Review 0 thoughts on ““Long Weekend” is a gem of an indie rom-com”

Finn Wittrock plays Bart, a young man whose relationship, career, and maybe health woes are catching up with his financial ones. Unemployed and no longer able to live in his apartment, he moves his things into the garage of his best friend, Doug (Damon Wayans, Jr.). Sulking about his situation, he goes to see an old movie with a bottle of booze he has smuggled. As the credits roll, he is awakened from his drunken stupor by a kind (and beautiful) soul, Vienna (Zoe Chao). There’s an immediate spark and they spend the rest of the day together, but there are some red flags with Vienna. Who is she, really? And that question is in our minds for much of the film.

Romantic comedies never get old if they’re done with heart and have chemistry. “Long Weekend” succeeds on both fronts, but it also delivers on an element of originality. As we discover, or we think we have discovered, who Vienna is, another critical aspect comes into play which makes us question our own conclusions. With Tones of “Safety Not Guaranteed,” it isn’t until the very end that we know the truth which elicits an involuntary and heartfelt smile.

Chemistry counts and Wittrock and Chao have it in abundance. This burgeoning relationship is incredibly natural even when some of the situations are not–intentionally so. I mean, who goes on a date to open a safety deposit box? But even in that scene, we are so captivated by these two, what they have to share and say, that it goes on the back burner; still relevant, but the focus is the ever-growing spark.

While I’ve not seen Wittrock in a lead role, his charisma, good looks, and authenticity will pave the way for future roles like this. Perhaps he will be the next Hugh Grant of rom-coms. And Chao is extraordinary in her performance as the director helps us feel like we are a fly on the wall watching the next several days unfold. Again, another talented actor given the opportunity to shine and she does. Wayans’ character gives us plenty of laughs as he and on-screen wife balance screaming kids and marriage.

“Long Weekend” delivers a balanced serving of drama, comedy, and romance to keep us on our toes and willingly escape into this land of make-believe. It’s a gem of a film that adds just enough novelty to a tried and true genre to make it fresh.

3 Stars

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