Movie Review: Long Weekend

Long Weekend is a spirited romantic comedy with a twist from writer-director Steve Basilone, starring Finn Wittrock, Zoe Chao and Damon Wayans Jr. Essentially, the film focuses on Bart and Vienna, a down-on-his-luck struggling writer who meets an enigmatic woman. Blending a few other genre elements along the way, it leans on the charms of its star-in-the-making co-leads in Wittrock and Chao.

It’s difficult to come up with a romantic comedy without stumbling into some well-worn grooves these days. That’s why genre-bending is becoming a go-to for screenwriters trying to break out of the cliched and rote. Love stories are naturally appealing, but don’t be misled by Long Weekend’s bland title. It’s so much more than a romcom. Leaning into a similar space to Before Sunrise with Vienna’s name a tip of the hat, the film relies on engaging dialogue and co-lead chemistry. Long Weekend may not have the verbal dexterity and life-like dimension of Richard Linklater’s classic trilogy but its charming co-stars help light the way.

Dealing with mental health, there’s a psychological component to Long Weekend as Bart and Vienna fall into the giddy headspace of a runaway romance. Joining them on this high-spirited adventure is part of the fun as a chance encounter turns into a sparkly relationship filled with promise. Trying to get himself out of a all-time low and funk, Bart’s newfound inspiration seems too good to be true, remaining elusive as the young writer tries to unlock some of her mysteries.

long weekend movie

“…and that one looks a lot like a cloud.

What follows is a suspenseful mind game where Bart’s new love presents question marks and red flags as Vienna dodges his attempts to discover the woman behind the manic pixie dream girl fa├žade. Teetering between real and unreal, sci-fi and drama, Long Weekend presents an ambiguous love story that keeps you guessing.

While a modest indie romance drama, Basilone trusts his charming cast and curious genre-bending romance. Long Weekend pales in comparison to Before Sunrise, but harnesses a similar soulful energy as layers are gently peeled away. The surprise twist may irk viewers expecting a more predictable romcom, but the film’s sense of humour and artful execution go a long way to overcoming its shortcomings. Ultimately, its charming co-leads, artful direction and slow-burning intrigue enhance an entertaining albeit wayward indie romance comedy.

The bottom line: Spirited