"Weekend" presents 48 hours in the lives of two gay men who are almost immediately attracted to each other, then have to figure out what that means in the complex tapestry of their individual situations.
Written, directed and edited by Britain's Andrew Haigh, "Weekend" is a moving and empathetic look at how relationships develop, at how people fall in love and what that does and doesn't do to their lives. It's an observational film that offers generous satisfactions, but there are challenges along the way.
It's Russell (Tom Cullen) we meet first in the out of the way city of Nottingham, going to a potluck dinner with a group of straight friends and looking like the quiet, soulful man we soon find him to be.
On the way home, Russell impulsively stops at a gay bar and locks eyes for a brief moment with the intense Glen (Chris New). When the next day begins, they are together in Russell's bed, dealing with the morning-after awkwardness of people who have had sex but barely know each other.
More involving than the sexual candor is the way these two men end up exposing themselves to each other emotionally. Even in the brief period of time they have together, we can see them opening up to each other and learning from the experience, which is as rare on screen as it is in life.
Not surprisingly, Russell and Glen have different ideas about living in a predominantly straight world. Russell believes in enduring relationships and seems to be relatively content, while Glen, who says he doesn't do boyfriends, bristles with articulate rage about, among many other things, straight people who "like us as long as we don't shove it down their throats."
Because it is intent on being honest, "Weekend" refuses to tip its hand as to how this relationship will end. But what is clear is that they were falling in love and that no matter what happens, the influence these men have on each other will last considerably longer than a weekend.
In my opinion, "Weekend" is for anyone, gay or straight, who has ever been in love... or who has never been in love but wanted to be. It reminds me of that wonderful, exciting, heart-pounding, scary time when you meet someone new and begin to fall in love. Be prepared to cry!