Posted in: Review

Monday

Monday takes place during the so-called honeymoon phase of a romance between two Americans living in Greece. Mickey, a DJ, and Chloe, an immigration lawyer, meet at a party and sleep together on a nearby beach before learning each other’s names. After realizing she left her purse with her money, keys and other essentials at the party, Chloe ends up spending the day with Mickey as she waits to get it back. They have more sex and party on an island where he has a gig. Chloe is scheduled to go back to the States the next day bringing an abrupt end to their fun, but with the encouragement of a friend, Mickey intercepts her at the airport, a gesture that makes her stay.

This is where the meat of the story of Monday begins. The movie is composed of a series of weekends that take place over the first year or two of the couple’s romance, which start on a Friday and end before Monday comes. Each weekend depicts a key point in their relationship as Chloe and Mickey move in together, work out of the house, throw parties and attend a wedding. Throughout all of this, the pair laugh off issues and squabble about their different approaches to life, while the movie bookends their story with two arrests for similar charges that ultimately illustrate how their relationship evolves over this period of time.

Director and co-writer Argyris Papadimitropoulos infuses the film with a breezy, sexy vibe that’s undercut by the lack of chemistry between its stars and the fact that, given both of these characters are in their mid-30s, their tendency to make stupid or self-destructive choices often comes across as sad, annoying and desperate. Moreover, outside of sex, it’s hard to see what these two have in common. We never see them talking and getting to know one another. As a result, it’s only in moments where Chloe and Mickey interact with people outside of one another that we gain any understanding of who they are, and these moments mostly illustrate why they’re incompatible, as in a disastrous party they throw where Chloe’s sophisticated friends clash with Mickey’s immature buddies.

Meanwhile, Monday gives excessive attention to the minutiae of the life the couple build together, letting scenes stretch long after they’ve made their points. Gough and especially Stan throw themselves into their roles but their performances can’t overcome the film’s lack of substance. This becomes especially apparent when Bastian (Dominique Tipper), an old bandmate of Mickey’s, stops by for an evening and manages to generate more heat with him while filling in more details about him than any scene between Mickey and Chloe.

Monday is a tedious watch that frequently taxed my patience. Chloe and Mickey’s choices often seem to be driven by a desire to avoid growing up and to deny themselves real happiness, and watching them repeat the same mistakes becomes frustrating. The growth and evolution of their relationship seems like it should act as an antidote to these issues, however because their romance is never especially believable, it — and the movie itself — always feel like it’s on shaky ground. This is a relationship drama that never provides insight into the relationship at its center.

2 stars (out of 5)

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