Dirty Weekend full movie review - Broderick Painfully Horrible in 93 minutes of Fantastically Disappointing Drudgery
I liked Matthew Broderick. HE was the coolest dude with all sorts of acting street cred amassed from decades of smart comedy and edgy dramas. When I saw this movie released we all thought 'Cool looking forward to a intelligently written, thought provoking flick with A- list co-star Alice Eve...'
Well Director Neil LaBute completely eviscerated what potentially is a tantalizing plot line... co-workers thrust into an unexpected quandary end up exploring and revealing worlds within themselves the viewers find unexpected yet exhilarating. Essentially you don't really know someone until you're stuck with them in an uncomfortable situation and can't do anything about it.
In a complete whiff Broderick's character comes across as a sniveling, whiny, creepy old perv sucking the life and vibe out of every scene with Eve from the first take. Many lead roles with questionable character traits are acted with gifted presence and genuine care. This 'effort' by our sole male lead is a roiling dumpster fire. I kept hoping a runway truck would careen into the scene wiping him out permanently from the film. Or Walter White makes a cameo with a dinner plate shard to the jugular ending it all too quickly. Alas no joy..
It is painfully obvious there is zero chemistry between Broderick and Eve, and asking the audience to try and suspend total disbelief that a striking co-worker young enough to be his daughter would eagerly carry on sexually pervasive conversations (and more) for the majority of the film with this walking prostate exam is exceedingly insulting. If you're hoping for delayed parallel plot lines adding depth and texture to the film, or even interesting support roles to help out the drowning lead, your disappointment will only fester all the more.. Add this to many of the movie inconsistencies (flights are canceled due to weather but the airport is shockingly empty in every scene) it just reinforces the bottom line that this slipshod storyboard was pieced together with a hacksaw.
But I digress. Let's move onto Alice Eve and her role as the young wistfully optimistic upside to Broderick's gut punch bomb.
Eve is an exceedingly smart and talented actress. Why she read this script and decided to give it a go will remain one of Hollywood's (and Albuquerque's) greatest mysteries. She genuinely tries to inject balanced female delicacy with a bona-fide gusto in many of the scenes, but the insipid script and blocky directing throws cold water on the entire effort. Watching Brokerick leer (consciously or not it comes across as just gross. This is no way even close to his role in Election with a young Reese Witherspoon) throughout several scenes at the effervescent Eve will make your skin crawl. She has more successes ahead of her so we'll give her a one-time pass on this miss. Broderick is permanently relegated to an aging has-been that is now viewed in the same light as Ben Stein's character in Ferris... Stodgy, uncool, clod, creep. How sad.
LaBute has some major making up to do with his next project. Some reviews will try and convince you this is a dark comedy.. it's genius is found between the lines.. or you've got to look past the script to discover the subtle message about modern sexuality and gender roles.. Don't believe a word of it. Take away the lines and the (total lack of) plot, and just watch how ABQ is portrayed... cheap, dirty, redneck, uninteresting. Contrast to how Breaking Bad was able to capture an entire world of beauty, danger, & intrigue with the same New Mexico backdrop, and you'll agree how big of a flop this amalgam of useless words and nonsense is.
Spare yourself 93 minutes of eyelid slicing torment, and grab an old episode or two of Walter White. Now that is on-screen genius I could watch any day of the week.