Nick, a down on his luck college professor, and his wife of thirty years are the stars of this unlikely getaway story set in Paris. This is the latest film from director Roger Michell (Notting Hill, Venus) and is not your usual Paris getaway Rom-Com.
Le Week-End stars Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan as a long-married couple who revisit Paris over one long weekend for the first time since their honeymoon. By doing so they hope to rekindle their long standing relationship, or perhaps even bring it to an end. During their Paris wanderings, the two characters run into Morgan, who is an old college chum of Nick’s. Morgan writes, teaches, has a much younger second wife and is successful beyond Nick’s dreams.
Not everyone will like this film, in fact – I’m not quite sure that I did. However, it’s been lingering in my mind for some time now since my initial viewing. The characters aren’t cute or cuddly and there’s no forced sense of happiness to it either. Having given it some more thought, I think that their relationship was actually refreshingly honest to witness as a viewer. They’re very much like you and I and whatever happiness they come by they have to work for – just like the rest of us.
The Bottom Line
The movie does have some funny moments, but it’s more of a melancholy character study on long-term devotion as the two characters come to grips with what their lives could have been like if they hadn’t decided to stick together for so long.
This may sound like a grim take on the usual Romantic Comedy, but thanks to it’s great script and sharp dialogue there is often a silver-lining in the proceedings and thankfully the film does end on a hopeful note. To it’s credit, it does so without falling into the usual soppy Hollywood happy ending trap as well. The elderly couple’s underlying affection unfolds naturally and gracefully over the course of their eventful weekend and also touches on their youthful ambitions as well as their nostalgia for an earlier Paris.