An American is hungover and bewildered as she wakes up at a lovely hotel in Croatia. Clothes are thrown over the room, and empty wine glasses litter the counter. Beth’s (Leighton Meester) recollection of the preceding several hours shattered into a few nonsensical pieces, which she is terrified of piecing together. An intriguing beginning premise for The Weekend Away, a short and engaging albeit progressively shallow thriller about a girls’ weekend holiday gone wrong, and so relatable stuff for many women at some time in their lives.
The Weekend Away Review: The Beginning
The Weekend Away, directed by Kim Farrant of Strangerland, begins with a woman’s body resting in calm water, implying that Beth’s vacation in Croatia with her closest buddy Kate (Christina Wolfe) may result in at least one death. The journey is initially smooth and promising, depicting the women’s damaged thirty-something friendship and establishing a credible mystery. Beth is a first-time mother who has recently emerged from the fog of restless nights and postpartum depression. Kate, blonde and seductive, is a people pleaser recovering from a divorce that has thrown her into an indulgent, narcissistic black hole.
The script, written by British-American author Sarah Alderson, who also authored the book in 2020, has a constant five-minute rhythm of initially interesting story twists, then exhausting, then hilarious or apparent. The Weekend Away isn’t much longer than typical streaming TV episodes at 90 minutes, but it gets a lot more narrative done in that time. Beth reveals several truths about her bond with Kate, her wedding to Rob, and side characters like creepy Sebastian (Adrian Pezdirc), although neither is very shocking.
The plot takes place against the background of a beautiful tourist town with stone-walled streets backed by the Adriatic Sea, which makes it all quite watchable, if not memorable. The camera alternates between tight close-ups and broad landscape vistas to keep the events attractively ominous, which is just what a criminal thriller requires. The Weekend Away is a quick 90-minute mystery to pair with that big breakfast – one that won’t take up much time but is enjoyable while it lasts.
When there are too many bloated, plodding, dull Television shows and movies, this The Weekend Away Review finds the shortness and quick pace of surprises refreshing. It’s a thriller, but it’s less thrilling than lying on the sofa, absorbing story rhythms like the marine tide. That’s not a horrible night by any means: a little agitation with a smidgeon of dedication.