Movie Club: Le Week-End, directed by Roger Michell
The fact that “Le Week-End” received mixed reviews amplifies the theme of the movie. Women tend to describe it as the poignant love story of a struggling married couple Nick and Meg (Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan). Male reviewers think Meg is too dominant and determined to selfishly have things all her own way. It is one of those movies that can be seen through two lenses… and maybe that’s the point.
The film tells the story of an unhappy married couple in their 60s, who return to Paris for the first time since their honeymoon. They are celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary. They are at the end of careers, dealing with a frustrating family situation and dancing uncomfortably through every midlife milestone you can imagine. Their goal is to reignite the passion and love in a relationship battered by life, disappointments and now boredom. While in Paris, they reconnect with an old friend Morgan (Jeff Goldblum), who acts as a catalyst for their reinvention and appreciation of each other.
The movie “Le Week-End” was directed by Roger Michell, best known for “Notting Hill.” That movie is offers a counterpoint. It is a film that describes the other extreme of optimism and joy in love. I chose this movie for the Sixty and Me community because it paints a vivid picture of a woman grasping for reinvention in her life.
A lot of women will relate with Meg’s frustration and desire for the energy to return to her marriage. It is for any woman who has experienced and witnessed the transformation of a loving relationship from passion for boredom. It paints a picture of a mother disappointed with her son. It describes in brutal ways, how expectations are shattered by life circumstances.
The film is about life on the “other side of 60,” when each milestone is magnified and there is no sense of how to turn back. Meg wants more for them than their current life. Nick is afraid of failing. They discover that the only way is forward.
The movie raises some fundamental questions for women and men over 60 – married or not. We all have a desire to create a purposeful life. The dreams we had in our 20s hardly ever come true and the secret is to not blame ourselves or our perceived limitations.
Some limitations are real, some imagined and some are a product of our perception of aging. Regardless, of which category they fall into, they all have to be dealt with and incorporated into our vision of the future
If you don’t already have a copy of “Le Week-End,” you can get it on Amazon.
To kick things off, here are a few questions for discussion. Please add your thoughts in the comments:
How would you describe the relationship between Meg and Nick in one word?
Do you think that the characters were well balanced or did one dominate the movie?
What value did you think the character of Morgan added to the movie?
How did you view Meg’s character? Was she too self-absorbed and selfish?
Have you ever gone back to a place in an attempt to relive a joyful moment in your life?
Which character did you most identify with?
What is one thing you thought that Meg and Nick should have done together?
I hope you enjoy being a part of our movie club for women over 60! Please leave your comments below.