Paris provides gorgeous backdrop to British rom-com ‘Le Week-End’

March 11, 2014

Courtesy of Film4 Productions

“Le Week-End” is a quintessentially British film that depicts a married couple taking a weekend holiday in Paris.

First and foremost, the movie examines what happens to a relationship as it matures. In the case of Nick and Meg, the most recent change in their lives is that their son moved out of the house. The couple then decides to take a journey to Paris.

The parents are now alone as a couple and the viewers soon learn that Nick, played by Jim Broadbent, is being forced into early retirement. Anything that once occupied their time is no longer relevant. In addition to being alone, the couple appears to have lost the spark after so many years of focusing on other distractions.

However, the tired pair regains some energy and motivation once in Paris. When Lindsay Duncan’s Meg sees the boring — albeit economical — hotel that Nick has booked for them, she immediately leaves. Somehow, through Meg’s impulsiveness the two end up at the nicest hotel in Paris, with a perfect view of the Eiffel tower, and while Nick initially resists, he warms to the idea after some prompting from his wife.

The film is effective in examining this couple’s complicated relationship. Few movies choose to focus on mature relationships, but the topic proves fascinating in Roger Michell’s project. However, there were a few weak points in the depiction.

The strange mid-movie appearance of Nick’s old friend Morgan, played by Jeff Goldblum, feels a bit out of place. Meg’s impulsiveness is also somewhat exaggerated throughout the movie, causing the married couple’s relationship to seem somewhat caricatured. However, the hyperbolic rift is quite entertaining to watch.

The climax of the film occurs at a party, and while it does seem a random coincidence that Morgan would have invited the couple, this provides a good way for Nick and Meg to work out their issues in a very public, comical and heartfelt way.

Aside from being a solid and funny film, “Le Week-End” contains excellent views of the City of Light. From whirling cab rides to amazing restaurants and cafes, the sights of Paris come alive. Michell’s movie is great for anyone looking to experience a little piece of France.

While “Le Week-End” is not a perfect film, audiences will appreciate the issues raised, especially older couples who might be going through similar ordeals. However, even young college students should be able to appreciate the humor in Nick and Meg’s struggle.

“Le Week-End” is a great minimal-stress movie for a Friday night, highly recommended for easy viewing pleasure.

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, March 11 print edition. Julia Krom is a contributing writer. Email her at film@nyunews.com.

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