Monday is hot, steamy and angsty with great performances from Sebastian Stan and Denise Gough, yet fails to deliver an interesting enough story.
Written by Becca Johnson
Argyris Papadimitropoulos' new romantic drama Monday tells the story of two self-destructive Americans who fall in love and endure a whirlwind romance with plenty of ups and downs in Greece.
The talent during Monday can be spotted from a mile away. Denise Gough (Colette) gives a career-best performance as Chloe, a character who has recently come out of a relationship and is torn between staying on in Greece or returning back to the States. Her performance is matched by the much loved Sebastian Stan (Avengers: Endgame) in the role of Mickey, a DJ who struggles with his proclivity for destroying anything good in his life, including his relationship with his young son. The steamy romance scenes are swoon-worthy, and the argumentative scenes definitely pack a punch. The two demonstrate good chemistry and bounced off each other well.
Unfortunately, the script doesn't allow us to get to know these two characters as well as we'd like to. We know they are self-destructive, troubled and irresponsible, but neither get much in the way of development. They frequently make poor decisions and lack true personality, meaning we have two lead characters who are very hard to root for. This trait is also passed on to the side characters, who are all one dimensional and seriously unlikable.
What sets this romance drama apart from the rest is that it's based in Greece, which appears to offer something new to it's audience – unfortunately this is a missed opportunity. There is a lack of gorgeous scenic shots that many would expect from a movie set in such a stunning country, and aside from a few lines of Greek and a song here or there, the culture isn't embraced as much as expected. The movie is polluted with partying, raving, drinking, smoking, drug-taking and riding naked on a motorcycle – this could have occurred anywhere in the world and the result would've been the same. For some, the endless party scenes will become boring quite quickly, but for many they will offer a lot of fun.
Mickey and Chloe appear to have an absolute blast together when they are at their best, and it's impossible for their happiness to not be injected into the audience. The script offers many laughs and bundles of charm, yet is also balanced with some relatable discourse about relationships feeling weaker when things get more serious. Of course, the couple are having so much fun at the start of their relationship that they quickly move in together and want to intertwine their lives. As they try to integrate their friendship groups, ex partners, jobs and personal problems, the tension rises and the pair start to drift. They become secretive, fed up with the other, their sex lives weaken and they inevitably miss the lack of responsibility. The script explores this dynamic masterfully, and many will be able to relate to their troubles.
Monday is an extremely competent romance, and an even more competent drama. It is boosted by strong performances, some really steamy scenes and heaps of funny 'let your hair down' scenes. However, it's hard to get on board with characters who frequently try to sabotage their own lives. The story doesn't grip the audience like it intended to, and the beautifully unique setting is massively under-utilised. There is so much passion to be found within Monday, and the right audience will have no trouble locating it.