The Weekend

Zadie (Sasheer Zamata) is a shameless third wheel. She’s been moping about her breakup for three years and instead of moving on with her life, she’s spending the weekend at a bed and breakfast with him…and his new girlfriend. And by “new” I mean “not Zadie,” because this couple have already been together for two years and Bradford’s walking around with a diamond ring in his pocket. Zadie is downright hostile to new girlfriend Margo (DeWanda Wise), who is understandably less than thrilled to have her love life constantly monitored by Zadie. And Bradford (Tone Bell) seems infuriatingly oblivious…or does he just like having two women fight for his attention?

So while Zadie is crashing what should be a romantic weekend for two, a man named Aubrey (Y’lan Noel) shows up at the B&B without his plus one, who minused herself out of their equation. Aubrey, who is handsome and charming and available, makes some overtures in Zadie’s direction. God knows why: Zadie is not exactly a catch and she’s pretty busy making a fool out of herself.

I wanted to like this movie but I hated it immediately. Zadie is a stand-up comedian and her whole schtick is a pity party in honour of her breakup which is now several years behind her. She’s an unlikable protagonist and exactly the kind of person I avoid at all costs so it was painful to spend a whole 87 minutes in her grating, self-centered presence. Zadie is so pathetic it’s hard to imagine that anyone would be romantically (or otherwise) interested in her, but only her mother (Kym Whitley) ever calls her on her bullshit so the rest of us are left searching for blunt objects to make the pain go away (strictly speaking, a remote would get the job done with a lot less mess).

The thing is, I love Sasheer Zamata who is in fact a stand-up comedian whom I have enjoyed on many occasions. I hated to see her good name debased with such a wretched and plaintive set. The whole cast had much to recommend it, and with better material this could easily be a group to watch. Likewise, writer-director Stella Meghie is an immense talent who would be better served by characters worthy of her attention. The Weekend is not her best work but I hope it at least exorcised some ghosts.

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