VOD Review - Last Weekend

Devon Graye (left) and Zachary Booth
in 'Last Weekend'
When the movie begins, it feels as if it's mainly going to be about a slightly annoying mother who is perhaps experiencing a mid-life crisis. She's a bit of a hippie. She's reached a point where she seemingly has too much time and money on her hands. It's not until a scene later between the woman's gay son and his boyfriend that the true nature of this film coalesces. It's about the effect of wealth and white privilege. Writer and co-director Tom Dolby focuses on the life of Celia Green and her two adult sons, as they visit their summer home on Lake Tahoe during Labor Day weekend.

The film reminds me of Richard LeMay's Naked As We Came, which is reminiscent of a lot of family films that pivot around a matriarch. It's not as brutal or vicious as August: Osage County, but there are moments that aren't that far flung. Dolby perhaps juggles too many characters that aren't necessary. Thomas Bezucha's The Family Stone juggles a lot of characters but we get a clearer sense of each one. The same can't really be said of Dolby's movie.

Patricia Clarkson stars as Celia Green, the wife of Malcolm Green who is a successful businessman. She might be involved in the business but not in an active way it seems. She's like Sally Field's character in the TV series Brothers & Sisters. Celia isn't a widow. She doesn't have any kind of illness or affliction. Her big issue is that she's selling the aforementioned summer home. Aside from being a thing that she hides from her two adult sons, this issue is very much a non-issue.

Zachary Booth (Keep the Lights On and Big Words) co-stars as Theo Green, the gay son who is an aspiring filmmaker. Theo brings his boyfriend, Luke, of only three weeks. Devon Graye plays Luke, a young, very attractive, opera singer who is very humble and sweet.

Notably, Graye starred in Legendary (2010) where he played the son of Patricia Clarkson's character. It's Luke though who calls Theo out on his wealthy lifestyle that's devoid of much substance and is more materialistic and shallow.

Dolby does nail some interesting things about Theo and Luke's relationship where it might seem tenuous but there is a bond there. What Dolby doesn't nail is the stuff about Theo's career. Theo brings some friends of his to the summer home for the weekend. Two of which end up being inconsequential to this story. I don't get why Dolby included them. He gives them nothing to do. By the end of the movie, they're completely forgettable. There is a third friend. Her name is Blake Curtis, played by Jayma Mays (Glee).

Joseph Cross (Milk and Running With Scissors) also co-stars as Roger Green, the other son of Celia. Roger works for a large, investment company. He makes a huge mistake at the company, which he tries to hide from his family. As a result of this, or maybe as part of something that's always been inside him, Roger rejects or resists a lot of the white privilege, or is more sensitive about it. His wife is Vanessa, played by Alexia Rasmussen, and she's trying to build her Fresh Water company, which she's pushing Roger to use his family connections to help her.

This annoys him. That, along with other possible problems within his relationship, causes Roger to flirt with Blake who is actually a celebrity, a famous actress. Blake is good friends with Theo and their friendship is well established. Besides some alcoholism, not much else about her is revealed and in reality the flirtation between her and Roger is not well established, so when something happens between them, it comes out of nowhere and no weight to it is felt. There are certainly no consequences to it.

The movie circles back to Celia and her issue or non-issue, as well as her feelings akin to empty nest syndrome. Aside from one monologue, which reveals she almost left or divorced, there's very little to Celia. Her neighbor, Veronika, played by Judith Light, is vastly more interesting a character if mostly one-note.

Two Stars out of Five.
Not Rated but for 14 and up.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 34 mins.
Available on Netflix Watch Instantly.


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