Written by Becca Johnson
Though Leighton Meester (Gossip Girl) and the rest of the cast try and the story is paced fast enough to keep you invested, The Weekend Away scores too high on the predictability scale to be as effective as it wants to be.
Starring Meester in the lead role, Netflix Original The Weekend Away sees a woman named Beth racing to figure out what happened to her best friend Kate, who goes missing whilst the pair are on a girls trip in Croatia. As Beth gets closer to the case, each clue uncovers another unsettling discovery.
Many viewers of The Weekend Away will be those wishing to see Meester on screen again, and her performance is unlikely to disappoint fans. Her character is believable and she's an interesting enough lead to follow. Luke Norris (The Duchess) also acts well as Beth's husband, who has stayed at home to take care of their young child. We learn early on that their relationship is on the rocks, and as the story progresses, we discover that it may have been rockier than we ever imagined and will be hindered all the more by Kate's disappearance. The pair work well enough together to make their scenes entertaining, and though a lack of chemistry is present, they try their best with the material given.
The Weekend Away has enough twists and turns to make its short run-time flow just fine. It kicks things off pretty quickly and rarely slows down the pace, leading us on a trail of betrayal, secrets, lies and darkness. The script ensures that the audience never know who to trust, as Beth herself even becomes a suspect in the disappearance. However, this would all work much better if the story wasn't so predictable. The script is full of cheesy lines and obvious plot points, often feeling reminiscent of a TV/Primetime drama. Though far from Netflix's worst attempt at a mystery thriller, it certainly isn't its boldest or best written.
Setting the movie in Croatia allowed for gorgeous scenery to shine through, and also helped it to feel that little bit unique. Beth being in a foreign country also raises the stakes for her, as she struggles to get the help she is looking for due to the language barrier, and has to enlist local taxi driver Zain (Ziad Bakri) to help her. Unfortunately, the beautiful scenery is let down by the lacklustre cinematography, creating a movie that isn't always appealing to look at. Many shots are too over exposed, once again giving it that TV movie feel. There was even an unfortunate moment during the first act in which Meester's hair had a green tinge to it.
The Weekend Away may be worth sitting down with on a rainy day, particularly for fans of Leighton Meester or the mystery thriller genre. It's plot will keep you invested even if you do guess most of the twists along the way. Just don't expect too much from the script, however well the actors manage to elevate it.