Film #42: Weekend (2011)

Directed by: Andrew Haigh
Language: English
Length: 97 minutes
Watched on: 11 December 2011

Before I saw this, I had seen a couple of reviews that called it the best gay film of the year. I had snorted condescendingly at this, with a mixture of the sensations of “Yeah, right, they always say that!” and “OK, so maybe it is, but that wouldn’t be saying much!”

Actually, I still stand by the second one, but I want to try and raise that bar a little bit. Weekend is a genuinely good film in my book. It’s heartwarming and sweet, and it induces a warm sensation of longing in me.

Its plot consists of a weekend, during which two men, both a bit older than myself, hook up and quickly find that they have a lot in common and spend an increasing amount of time together – but one of them is leaving for America at the end of the weekend, and their rapidly-blossoming relationship is severed earlier than they’d have preferred.

On paper, there’s not much I should relate to personally, apart from the relatively trivial fact of preferring gentlemen over ladies: they’re older than me, and I’ve never really been much one for hooking up with people in clubs or becoming so close to someone so quickly, so there’s immediately one part of the film that is slightly alienating to me, just because I haven’t had that particular experience. In the end, none of that matters. Plenty of reviewers before me have rightly pointed out that it doesn’t really matter if you’re gay or straight, even, for this film to have an emotional impact on you and for you to relate to it.

There are a few other points that I can relate to, of course; I can relate to feeling a close emotional attachment to another man (although whether the gender here really matters is debatable), and I can relate to the fact that one of the characters is leaving the UK for a faraway and distant land.

And I think when it comes to it, it’s kind of just a film that I look at and want to happen to me, put simply, sad ending notwithstanding.

Anyway, it’s definitely worth watching, and I do recommend it to everyone.


TV: How I Met Your Mother Seasons 1-6

Created by: Carter Bays & Craig Thomas
Released: 2005—2011
Finished watching seasons on: 18 Oct 2011 (1), 28 Oct (2), 4 Nov (3), 17 Nov (4), 24 Nov (5), 5 Dec (6)
Episodes: 136…
Language: mainly English

OK. It’s 2 months since I last updated the blog, and almost 3 months since I saw the series in question, so I’ll have to make this particularly brief. I have an excuse though, having moved to the other side of the world and become very busy in the meantime…

If you want to stop reading now, I liked How I Met Your Mother. I get its comedy and its style. There’s perhaps not much special about it; it’s a bit formulaic, and runs in a long line of relatively family-friendly American sitcoms, and reminds me in many ways of Friends; but I enjoyed watching it and I found it addictive, hence completing the six extant complete seasons in just under two months (often watching three a day).

The central conceit of the program – the main character Ted is telling his children the story of how he met their mother in a particularly long-winded way – helps to keep it fresh (we know, for example, that Ted’s early love interest isn’t the mother), but also gets old very quickly. OK, so how can you tell a story for six years and not get to the crux of it? That kind of thing started to bug me after a while. It also sort of falls into a rut eventually, where Ted falls in love with a woman who is revealed not to be the mother, and then he goofs out and pushes her away – over and over and over again.

But the characters are great (especially Alyson Hannigan and Neil Patrick Harris), and the show rewards you with injokes if you watch enough of it – references to older episodes, mainly. The continuity is generally good, and although I get the feeling that to some extent they’re making it up as they go along, they’re a lot more consistent than a bunch of other shows that I’ve seen. And I liked it overall.