Andrew Haigh’s (Greek Pete) “Weekend” first screened in San Francisco in June at the Frameline Film Festival, now it has made its way to local theaters. “Weekend” is a gay indie romance about what was meant to have been a one-night stand, but turns into new love over the course of 48 hours.
After a Friday night casual house party with straight friends, Russell (Tom Cullen) decides to stop at a gay club instead of going straight home. He sees Glen (Chris New). They are immediately attracted, but don’t hook up. The next morning Russell wakes hung-over and groggy with Glen in his bed. Adding to Russell’s befuddled surprise Glen begins asking awkward questions about the night before. Even in those early sleepy moments the attraction remains, but they part with no plans to meet up. But to Russell’s surprise Glen is waiting for him outside his job with a beer; a nice, but unexpected way to end a day at work. They end up spending the rest of the weekend together, slowing opening up themselves to each other. What was supposed to have been a one-night stand turns into stolen moments, intense intimacy and unrelenting connection between two men.
Initially Russell and Glen seem completely different, an odd couples of the first degree. Russell is athletic, shy, respectable and a helplessly romantic homebody. Glen is a partying, shocking, rabble-rouser and a fiercely independent swinging single. But as the two men talk, share stories and reveal their feelings, they prove themselves to be both complex, contradictory and conflicted. They struggle with who they are versus who they want to be in a world that is littered with social norms that intolerant of their singularity.
Haigh calls “Weekend” an “honest and unapologetic love story between two guys and a film about the universal struggle for an authentic life.” And although it is a “gay film” with candid and uncompromising truthfulness the theme of living according to the needs of one’s inner being, rather than the demands of society is a universal theme that anyone can appreciate. Haigh delivers a story that touches on the essence of “making a passionate commitment to one’s own life” while not requiring others to deny their own. “Weekend” is a intelligent, questioning film with a big heart.
Cast: Tom Cullen (Russell), Chris New (Glen), full cast and crew.
US Release Date: 07 October 2011. Written and directed by Andrew Haigh. Released by IFC Films. Running time: 96 minutes; MPAA Rated NR; genre: drama; language: English.
Opening on October 7, 2011 at at Landmark’s Embarcadero Theatre in San Francisco and Landmark’s Shattuck Cinemas in Berkeley.
Pamela Alexander-Beutler is the editor in chief of the ReelMATERIAL film journal. For more of Pamela’s movie reviews and interviews visit www.reelmaterial.com, take a look at her favorite trailers at ReelTRAILERS on YouTube and follower her on twitter @reel_material.