Most of us live for the carefree freedom of the weekend — for Monday is when the real world and reality hits. There are even some of us who embark on weekend romances that give us a euphoric high until the new sheen wears off, reality hits and we really step back, slow down and examine the situation — was it all just lust and a crazy infatuation or do we have the makings of something real that can last? That is the question at the core of Argyris Papadimitropoulos‘s new “romantic” drama “Monday” starring Sebastian Stan and Denise Gough.
Mickey (Sebastian Stan) is an American DJ who lives and works in a party town in Greece. One weekend, he’s playing his set at a party when his friend yanks him off stage to introduce him to Chloe (Denise Gough), a fellow American, who seems to be reeling from some bad news and looking for a distraction. One thing leads to another, sparks fly and the two wake up the next morning naked on the beach to the sound of police as they are arrested for indecent exposure. This relationship seems to be off to rocky start and just the makings of a crazy one-night-stand. The two are let off with a slap on the wrist and embark on a mini adventure when they have to kill time until Chloe (who happens to be leaving to head back to America the next day) can get her keys and belongings from the party house.
The two dive head first into a frenzied, chaotic relationship that seems to just be based on carnal attraction and sex with not much substance — much like the film itself. Mickey and Chloe seem to be complete opposites — Mickey is still immature living a frat boy lifestyle and shirking responsibility while Chloe is an immigration attorney who moves in more sophisticated circles. This is an “opposites attract” set up that we see over and over again, but somehow this seems to be on a whole different level — these two should not work — its a disaster waiting to happen. Through the entire film we are sitting, waiting to see how this will blow up in their faces. And that’s what happens — its like watching a train wreck in slow motion.
Based on little more than sex, Chloe decides to forgo her plans to move back and instead stays in Greece and moves in with Mickey. With the usual tropes, like having a party to combine the two friend groups and it being a complete shit-show, to instances where Chloe is relying on Mickey to be responsible and handle small things and he drops the ball every time. But Chloe cuts him slack everytime because he’s so charming. On top of that, you throw in the fact that Mickey has a young son that he’s been estranged from (but trying to get back) because his ex thinks he’s irresponsible and Chloe has a powerful ex (who really is an unnecessary character) lurking in the background as well.
But against all reason and logic, these two seem fall in love instantly and they keep holding on to their tenuous relationship — hoping that their “love” will make it through the weekend to Monday. But the substance and foundation of their relationship is missing — just like the real meat and substance of this film. Everything seems surface level — and the moments when we do try and delve into the character and backstory of the two, they just seems out of place with the more cringe-worthy moments of the movie. Individually, the two could be likable characters, but together they are just so exhausting. There are flashes of seriousness and sincerity in their relationship but they are quickly shattered with a jerk back into the hedonistic, immature and self-destructive behaviors. But you have to give Stan and Gough props for giving 100% to these characters and letting go of any inhibitions (like, seriously, dangerous stark naked moped police chase that is just bananas). They try and give life to two characters who in the end really aren’t that likable and are toxic for one another and should probably seek counseling.
Ultimately, this is a movie about two individuals who should be dealing with their demons and issues but instead are using alcohol and parties to blot out reality — but Monday always comes and you have to deal with it head on sooner or later. In this case, Monday comes and we are glad that the weekend is finally over.