Long Weekend is a good rom-com, but a victim of unfortunate timing. Without revealing too much, the film switches gears and invites another genre into the mix. It’s an interesting wrinkle in the story and writer/director Steve Basilone handles it well. But, it’s so comparable to last year’s crowd-pleaser Palm Springs that Long Weekend’s almost feels like old news upon arrival.
But rather than harp on such a silly negative, I’d rather hail the movie’s chemistry – a factor many romantic comedies seem to write off. As aimless writer Bart and eccentric out-of-towner Vienna, Finn Wittrock and Zoë Chao build compelling characters that are electric when they meet each other. The actors are also able to get away with self-referential nods to their persona archetype provided by Basilone’s screenplay (it’s important to note that the filmmaker was an experienced writer on TV’s cult hit Community). The audience sincerely enjoys spending time with these two – they’re slackers in their own right but not annoyingly so. When the film challenges these hopeless romantics with self-reflections, drama, and a dash of sci-fi, these additional factors don’t overshadow the central performances because of how memorable Wittrock and Chao are.
If movie goers came to see the recognizable supporting cast (Damon Wayans Jr., Casey Wilson, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Jim Rash), they’ll be leaving with a lasting fondness for Long Weekend’s star-worthy leads.
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