PATRICIA CLARKSON ZACHARY BOOTH
DEVON GRAYE JOSEPH CROSS
Perhaps all great actors must play annoying characters at some point. Even in her Oscar nominated, cancer stricken role in Pieces of April she was a delight. However, Last Weekend, written and directed by Tom Dolby and Tom Williams, introduces us to Clarkson’s most irritating role to date. “I love them, but we shouldn’t spend too much time close together,” one of the sons says about his eccentric mother. It isn’t that Clarkson isn’t a great performer in the role, it’s that the film doesn’t have anything else for her to do and the script never really says anything or takes these characters anywhere. It’s a weekend in the life of people who are rich, snobby, dramatic and not altogether interesting.
Celia (Clarkson) and Malcom (Chris Mulkey) Greene are having their children and their friends up to one of the two weekend homes, this one in Lake Tahoe for the weekend. What sons Theo (Booth) and Roger (Cross) don’t know is that this will be the last in the lake house they have grown up with. Celia has the entire weekend planned with certain meals, decorations, activities and the usual accusatory rhetoric. Theo is introducing his boyfriend of the week while Roger and his girlfriend have an embarrassing admission. It’s a weekend of high tension, disappointment, and the matriarch of the family taking her final sunset photos from their home.
Rich people problems, that’s what it boils down to, even with Theo’s boyfriend Luke (Grave) calling him and the rest of the family out at one point. Eccentricity runs through the entire family here. It’s as if Dolby/Williams wanted to deliver a sequel to Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine to show what Jasmine might be like if she made it into her 60’s. The defining scene of the film occurs early on when Luke becomes gravely allergic to a food item, and instead of Celia trying to help her son search for the hypodermic needle, she begins talking about how expensive those needles are; “does he really need it? Oh what are these tampons doing here?”
It’s obvious from the beginning that, not only is Clarkson’s character suffering some a sort of depression, but also severe attention deficient disorder as she jumps frantically from one conversation to another. Her dialogue is never ending unless she is being called out or calmed down; she is always filling the air with her words. I always wonder if people of the same social status being portrayed here, see films like this as a mirror or if they just think this is normal behavior. Most of Celia’s awful behavior is later blamed on motherhood and detachment issues, but by the time you get such a laughable explanation you have rolled your eyes so much you have a headache. One of the neighbors says, “I wish my children would come visit me,” but Celia is a fine example why children in these types of families don’t want to visit.
Final Thought – Lifestyles of the rich, snobby and ADHD.
By: Dustin Chase