In ‘Monday,’ Real Life Gets in the Way of Sex-Fueled Romance
A weekend of bliss turns into a trying relationship for two American expats living in Greece in romantic drama “Monday.” Sebastian Stan, best known for a slew of Marvel films, and Irish actress Denise Gough star as Mickey and Chloe, two polar opposites who decide to make a go of a relationship just a few days after waking up naked next to each other on a beach.
Mickey and Chloe are two thirtysomethings who have been living in Athens for seven years and 18 months, respectively, when they are introduced at a drunken disco party by Argyris (Giorgos Pyrpasopoulos), a fun-loving mutual friend. Chloe then proceeds to kiss handsome Mickey, despite not knowing anything about him except that he’s American and he’s the D.J. who has been spinning retro tunes. The next thing they know, they are waking up together in front of angry beach-goers sans clothes, and after a quick trip to the police station, the pair proceed to spend the rest of the weekend together, soaking up the sun and having loads of sex. Think “Before Sunrise” minus the super deep conversations. But their romance seems to have an expiration date, as Chloe, a lawyer, has to fly back to the States that Monday to start a new job. Convinced that he’s in love, Mickey chases her down at the airport, and the rest of the film focuses on what really happens after “happily ever after.”
What transpires next is a series of weekends that become less and less romantic. Chloe, who is now trying to start her own practice, struggles to work in the house she now shares with Mickey, who also writes jingles from home, and his meetings with his current client are surprisingly loud and angry. It soon becomes apparent that the two are both sort of using each other. Chloe jumped into the relationship to rebound from her toxic ex, who was also her boss, and Mickey, who is called a man child more than once, takes advantage of having a fancy, age-appropriate lawyer girlfriend in order to gain shared custody of his six-year-old son, Hector, who we never see but plays a crucial role in the plot.
Much of the overlong second act is exhausting to watch as the mismatched pair struggle to merge their worlds and friends together. While Chloe certainly has her issues, it becomes less and less believable that she would stay with someone as unstable as Mickey, especially after a nightmare scene in which he gets drunk and hijacks the mic at her former colleague’s wedding. The plot picks up a bit in the third act when it becomes apparent that the couple are trying to recreate that high of that first weekend. Just when they couldn’t get anymore insufferable, they fully become ugly Americans, making a scene and bringing out the worst in each other during what is supposed to be their last hoorah before Hector comes to stay with them.
While director Argyris Papadimitropoulos, who co-wrote the screenplay with Rob Hayes, fails to create likable characters, he does manage to create an escapist atmosphere, as the film was shot on location in picturesque Athens, and he takes full advantage of his surroundings. The hedonistic atmosphere also makes one feel reminiscent of a not so distant past when people could still get drunk at huge parties and dance with strangers.
“Monday” releases April 16 in select theaters and on VOD.