Sunday, July 13, 2014

Dreaming of France -- Le Weekend


Please join this weekly meme. Grab a copy of the photo above and link back to An Accidental Blog. Share with the rest of us your passion for France. Did you read a good book set in France? See a movie? Take a photo in France? Have an adventure? Eat a fabulous meal or even just a pastry? Or if you're in France now, go ahead and lord it over the rest of us. We can take it.
I'd wanted to see the movie Le Weekend for a while and finally got a chance on Saturday evening. Le Weekend is about a British couple, Nick and Meg, who return to Paris for their 30th wedding anniversary. Sounds perfectly fabulous, doesn't it? It could have been a celebratory movie with the couple exploring Paris and their love. But truly, that wouldn't give enough plot points, would it?
The movie starts out with them arriving at the hotel they stayed in 30 years before, and Meg hates the decor and the small size. She flags down a cab and has it take them to a fancy hotel with a balcony view of the Eiffel Tower. Well, movies are fantasies, so we can all go along with that. She smacks a credit card on the counter and we begin to understand that finances might be tight for the couple. He later admits to her that he has been given early retirement from the university where he teaches. She says she wants to quit teaching to paint or travel.
What they learn as they sightsee in Paris is that things aren't the same there -- not for the city or for the couple. In 30 years, they've come to love each other deeper and to detest each other in ways too.
The movie was beautiful and disturbing. I think the disturbing parts, for me, were when I saw glimpses of myself or my own relationship in it. Would my husband and I treat each other with such disregard and disrespect? Would we become just wallpaper?
But, of course, it's Paris and the very streets exude romance. So they go back and forth between loving and hating each other.
They run into an old friend, played by Jeff Goldblum, on the streets and go to a dinner party at his house. They don't know what to think of his new marriage and new baby on the way -- starting over in his 60s. But the friend's admiration of Nick reminds him that he once had aspirations too, that his life has meant something.
One very touching part of the movie was when Meg related a story about being out with a friend when her phone rang. She answered and hung up after a few minutes. Her friend asked who that was because Meg was laughing and happy. The friend asked was that Meg's secret lover. And she laughed and said, "That was my husband." I've known people who spoke so harshly to their spouses on the phone, as if they were children who they needed to instruct, so that part stayed with me.
Should you watch this movie? I told my 22-year-old daughter that she probably wouldn't enjoy it, but for anyone getting a bit older who has experienced the joys and disappointments of a long-term relationship, yes, watch it. Le Weekend was interesting and sad in parts, but in the end, redemptive, I think. After the movie ended, my husband and I went to Cafe Kerouac to listen to some music. We definitely did not want another Saturday night in, a chance to vegetate and grow set in our ways.

13 comments:

Vicki Lesage said...

I talk to my husband on the phone no less than 5 times per day, and we're always laughing. We've only been married three years, so I hope it stays that way!

Le Week-end looks like a movie I'd enjoy. I love movies/books that really dive into people's relationships.

Mystica said...

As you say this one is a timely one for the older folk!

Sally Tharpe Rowles said...

This movie sounds a bit depressing to me but I can imagine that it has a lot of nice shots of Paris which would help.

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Hi Paulita thanks for the review . I can relate to this film so now I am going to look out for it. Good that you and your hubby went out and did not vegitate that can become a habit. I ACTUALLY went out with my hubby for the day yesterday..quite a rare thing considering he works away all the time .. it was quite novel. :-) we went to an International Air show.. haha from Motor sport to aircraft .. but it was a fun day.

Adria J. Cimino said...

Great review! Sounds like an interesting movie... I would absolutely like the fact that it's set in Paris, even if parts are a bit disturbing.

Sim Carter said...

I'll just say I loved your review of Le Weekend, it really choked me up. Remembering to appreciate what we love about our partners as the years go on is so hard sometimes but so important, especially when life hasn't answered all our prayers. It's not fair to take out disappointments in life on ones spouse!

Hope you don't mind I've linked to your review on my site today, along with linking to another of Sally's Hundred Foot Journey posts.

Paulita said...

Thanks to everyone who left comments.
Sim, I don't mind at all. I wonder if I was too effusive in my review though. It definitely left us a little down. I guess the fact that it felt like the truth made it good. We are still discussing it.

Leovi said...

Paris gives to thousands of movies, I love watching him on film!

Esme said...

I think I will check this one out.

rippleeffects said...

I watched this movie in the theatre. Thought it was very well done. It could be the fourth instalment of the Before Sunrise trilogy, twenty years later. I had written a review of the French film Haute Cuisine for Paris in July. If you don't mind, I'd like to include that here in your Dreaming of France event. ;)

Jeanie said...

Hi Paulita -- Here's my post on "Paris Letters" -- loved this delightful book!

I'm eager to see this movie and noticed it just showed up on my cable's "On Demand." At your recommendation, I'll be watching sooner rather than later!

Catherine said...

Sounds like a very French movie,... as my (French) husband says, they're much too realistic. So he leans very heavily toward American movies with happy endings :) As for me, I'd put Le Weekend on my list,... sounds like you leave with some wisdom and of course, Paris as the backdrop is always a plus!

Brona Joy said...

I've been reading a number of books on ageing, loss and change lately, so this movie sounds right up my alley.

Thanks for the great review.

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