LONG WEEKEND, THE
Advertising exec Ed Waxman (Brendan Fehr) has been coming up with the same mundane campaigns since his girlfriend left him for another man. Now he's been given an ultimatum: produce a commercial that dazzles the sponsor, or his career is finished. At the same time, his younger brother, Cooper (Chris Klein), has made the decision that Ed needs to encounter as many women as possible: strippers, grieving models, single mothers. Over the long weekend, can Ed do the impossible: find his ideal girl, as well as seal the deal at work?
Review by Lesley Chow:
The opening scenes of this movie - shots of elaborate freak accidents and animal copulation - suggest a film that could take several directions. Is this going to be a rehash - a throwback to the early days of gross-out comedy? Or is this a way of sating the audience's appetite for disgust: getting the "yuks" out of the way, so that we can proceed with the plot? Initially, it looks to be the latter - particularly when we discover that the shots have been taken by Ed, an amateur film-maker. Ed used to be obsessed with capturing awkward moments, but he has developed a neurosis about photography, ever since he caught his girlfriend taping her infidelity. However, the memory of his films stays with him, so that he often gets flashbacks during tricky situations.
At first, this device seems like a witty excuse to cut bloopers into scenes: a way for the film to placate the teen audience, while maintaining its own half-hearted, very mild approach. However, within 20 minutes, things have turned strangely grim - not least because of the performance of Chris Klein. Klein - the floppy-haired kid from Election - has become an oddly waxen young man, with his narrow brows and fixed expression. His delivery is weirdly focused, as Cooper continues to pitch one kind of woman after another to Ed. The search for sex becomes a strained and maudlin affair - this film is much less compelling than the similarly themed Booty Call, which had exactly the right tone of exhaustion and unease.
It's surprising that, given his experience in commercials, director Pat Holden couldn't have cut together a more inventive reel of shots for Ed's flashbacks, as well as the montage that blows everyone away at the end. This is a pretty heavy-spirited sex comedy - even the out-takes look over-rehearsed.
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LONG WEEKEND, THE (MA)
CAST: Chris Klein, Brendan Fehr, Cobie Smulders
PRODUCER: Paul Brooks, Vin Di Bona, Shawn Williamson, Chandra West, Nicole McKay, Alejandro Rae
DIRECTOR: Pat Holden
SCRIPT: Tad Safran
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Brian Pearson
EDITOR: Martin Brinkler
MUSIC: David A. Hughes
PRODUCTION DESIGN: James Steuart
RUNNING TIME: 85 minutes
AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Hoyts
AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: March 16, 2006
VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Universal Pictures Video
VIDEO RELEASE: June 7, 2006