Light-hearted = light­weight ma­te­rial

The Star Early Edition - - TONIGHT FILM - JUSTIN LOWE

THE fa­mil­iar tribu­la­tions of wealthy white New York­ers be­come the tar­get of half-hearted, sel­f­re­gard­ing so­cial com­men­tary in The Long­est Week, a blithely de­riv­a­tive rom-com that isn’t with­out a cer­tain smug charm.

A fre­quent, in­suf­fer­ably om­ni­scient voiceover (Pine) in­tro­duces lux­ury ho­tel heir Con­rad Val­mont (Bate­man,

pic­tured), who’s push­ing 40 and av­o­ca­tion­ally un­em­ployed his en­tire life.

Val­mont ex­pe­ri­ences an un­wel­come wake-up call, how­ever, when he’s un­cer­e­mo­ni­ously cut off by his di­vorc­ing par­ents and sum­mar­ily evicted from New York’s Ho­tel Val­mont, where he’s lived for decades.

With his ex­pense ac­counts frozen, he’s forced to move in with his well-off painter friend Dy­lan (Crudup), although he keeps his pre­car­i­ous fi­nan­cial sta­tus to him­self, ex­plain­ing rather that his ho­tel suite is un­der ren­o­va­tion.

Dy­lan im­me­di­ately be­gins en­thus­ing about Beatrice (Wilde), an at­trac­tive young debu­tante and model with a taste for Vic­to­rian lit­er­a­ture whom he’s re­cently met.

When he’s in­tro­duced to Beatrice, Con­rad re­alises she’s the same mys­te­ri­ous woman he met on the sub­way a day pre­vi­ously who gave him her phone num­ber.

Although he prom­ises Dy­lan not to in­ter­fere with his friend’s pur­suit of Beatrice, Con­rad sets up a date with her any­way and they quickly be­come lovers. When Dy­lan dis­cov­ers this be­trayal, he nat­u­rally kicks Con­rad out of his place.

Now home­less, he moves in with Beatrice, who’s still un­aware that his par­ents have dis­in­her­ited him. It won’t be long be­fore this is also ex­posed and Con­rad will face a reck­on­ing that may fi­nally force him to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for his rather in­con­se­quen­tial life. Writer-di­rec­tor Peter Glanz’s A

Re­la­tion­ship in Four Days, a short film se­lec­tion at Sundance and Cannes, serves as the ba­sis for his de­but fea­ture, which lib­er­ally ref­er­ences the work of var­i­ous au­teurs rang­ing from Go­dard to Woody Allen.

Val­mont sim­i­larly as­pires to follow in the steps of highly re­garded nov­el­ists, but since he’s lazy and not par­tic­u­larly tal­ented, his book project has been lan­guish­ing for a decade.

Bate­man read­ily grasps the mi­nor con­flicts in­her­ent in Val­mont’s louche life­style, but he’s less suc­cess­ful at ar­tic­u­lat­ing his ma­jor life crises.

In part this is due to Glanz’s pref­er­ence for con­sign­ing ma­jor plot and character de­vel­op­ments to the nar­ra­tor for nov­el­is­tic voiceover de­scrip­tion, so that th­ese key story points of­ten tran­spire off­screen or dur­ing in­signif­i­cant tran­si­tional scenes.

Styled like a New York ver­sion of Anna Ka­rina, Wilde would fare bet­ter if the film were a more even­handed two-han­der, but caught be­tween the af­fec­tions of com­pet­ing men with very sim­i­lar char­ac­ter­is­tics, Beatrice re­mains in­com­pletely ar­tic­u­lated.

Crudup’s Dy­lan could also have ben­e­fited from clearer de­lin­eation and more de­fin­i­tive con­flicts with Val­mont to achieve a de­gree of character dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion that’s of­ten lack­ing.

As ei­ther ro­man­tic com­edy or late-life com­ing-of-age ma­te­rial, the film’s arc falls short of the trans­for­ma­tive ex­pe­ri­ences typ­i­cal of th­ese gen­res, although Glanz’s mildly amus­ing tone re­mains ap­peal­ingly light­hearted through­out. – Hol­ly­wood Re­porter

If you liked And So it Goes or Third Per­son, you will like this.

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