Le Week-End (15)
by Roger Michell
Written by Hanif Kureishi
Starring Jim Broadbent, Lindsay Duncan
From 11th October 2013
This is not a conventional rom-com of a late middle-aged couple returning
to the place where they spent their honeymoon thirty years ago. Any film
starring Jim Broadbent is more often than not worth watching, and again
this is the case.
Trapped and frustrated in a marriage which has completely lost its spark
- for example, it's five years since Nick ( Broadbent) last saw his wife
Meg (Lindsay Duncan) naked - with both of them pining for the 'good old
days' when they were young, which, in Meg's case, is never delved into.
Unlike the character Broadbent played in Another Year, directed by Mike
Leigh, in which he has a comfortable, loving relationship with his 60
something partner, this is an entirely different situation. The couple
- Nick a lecturer, Meg a teacher - endlessly bicker over trivial matters
and are bored and apprehensive about what the future holds in store for
each of them.
However the film does have plenty of comic/pathetic moments, sometimes
dark-tinged. They still think they can enjoy the high life in fancy restaurants
in Paris, but when confronted with the bill, and unable to pay it, they
do a runner.
One quote from the film stood out for me. When Nick accidentally meets
up again with an old university chum, Morgan (Jeff Goldblum) from the
late 60s, he remarks "What a breeze it was for us then" (ie.
to be young at that time), when reminiscing with him about those exciting,
Compare that with the many barriers young folks are currently confronted
with - high unemployment, steep university bank loans, major problems
in getting a foothold on the property ladder, etc. They won't look back
with the same affection as Nick and Meg and many of their contemporaries.
thirty years down the line.
I don't wish to be cruel but a better title for the movie may have been
'Waiting To Retire And Be More Bored.'