I hate Mondays and I don’t like this movie.
“Monday,” the latest independent entry starring MCU’s very own Sebastian Stan, sounds like something out of “Before Sunrise” with its two lovers meeting in a European country. It’s Friday night, and two American strangers meet at a party in Athens, Greece and fool around. It’s Saturday morning, and they introduce themselves as Mickey (Stan) the DJ, who’s lived here for 7 years, and Chloe (Denise Gough) the immigration lawyer, who is leaving for America soon. It’s Sunday, and he stops her from returning home.
The synopsis says things would get crazy by Monday, but it takes weeks that begins on Friday. The movie conflicts with itself by having the two love birds argue, make up, make out, and get back to the arguing. Unlike “Before Sunrise,” this won’t start a trilogy, and you deserve better artisan romances than this.
First, it’s another weekend. They move in together, party, and Mickey reunites with another musician named Bastian (Dominique Tipper). And then, it’s another weekend where they’re respectively in the middle of interviews and recordings. As always, we have to have the wise-cracking short friend (Yorgos Pirpassopoulos), who messes himself up at a party, and the ex-wife (Elli Tringou), who warns Chloe that Mickey hasn’t changed, especially since he’s in the middle of a custody battle. How many times do we need to see those things in the same genre?
And then it’s another Friday and another Friday and another Friday, and this isn’t a time warp movie. If it was called “Monday,” then it would have taken place on a Monday, a day everybody hates. Given its presentation, the synopsis is completely misleading about it taking place on one weekend. And when the titles say “Monday,” it’s too late.
Stan’s performance keeps the movie from going in a downward spiral, because of how he keeps a cool attitude and doesn’t rely on his MCU commercialism to sell “Monday,” directed by Argyris Papadimitropoulos and released by IFC Films. And the sexiest scenes to me are when he and Gough get caught sleeping in the nude on a beach, just as the police arrive to arrest them; and another scene when they ride a motorcycle in the nude with the police pursuing them. I love the ways those scenes were photographed because of the lighting and texture, but the rest ends up becoming a pattern.
Gough can be a good actress (“Juliet, Naked,” “Colette”), but in this movie, she never enlists us with any sympathy for her character. She (the character) mostly angry and obnoxious, and she can’t seem to decide what she wants out of her life. Her acting here is just exhausting, so I’m sorry to say I prefer Stan over Gough, but she’s no Julie Delpy.
“Monday” isn’t romantic and it isn’t compelling, but at least it’s not a nightmare of a movie. It just comes and goes with the obligatory partying, drinking, sex, arguments, pregnancies, abortions, and just about everything else a romance artisan of it kind requires. And if you wish to see a Sebastian Stan movie without him playing the Winter Solider (and I watch “The Falcon and the Winter Solider” on Disney+ BTW), you should see him in much better films like “The Martian,” “I, Tonya,” “The Last Full Measure,” and “The Devil All The Time,” etc, instead of this.
In Select Theaters and On Demand