Weekend is quite possibly the most authentic movie I’ve ever seen. It does not feel scripted or remotely theatrical; we are mere observers of 48 hours between two strangers. The dialogue, content, and raw emotion are more real than anything I’ve seen in other films.
The basic premise is that two young men meet and hook up at a gay bar. They awake the next morning, clearly having had sex, and yet they struggle to build up a conversation. The sex part was easy; the romance is more difficult. As the day progresses, one man texts the other and they meet up again. They develop the kind of infectious relationship of meeting someone once but instantly having a connection, and wanting to revisit that habitually.
Their lives and insecurities are explored more thoroughly as the film progresses, through heart-sinking drama that we don’t get in most romantic dramas (if you can even call this a romance). Much of their bickering is how they deal with being gay in a largely heternormative world, but their struggles and frustrations with one another are universal to anyone who’s been in a relationship, and ultimately, the heavy silence when a discussion’s hit a dead end.
Weekend, one of the best films of 2011, is so special because it is all the more relatable through its specificity. Without defining clear characters, the intimacy and believability of this relationship would not ring true with audiences. I saw it twice in two days and am eager to revisit again soon. The climactic ending, while not exactly happy or sad, makes you want to go back to the beginning and go through this experience again. As one of the men says, in the film’s final line, “Go back to when we first met.”