The Longest Week (2014)

(Video on Demand, December 2014)  It’s easy to see why The Longest Week would annoy many of its viewers.  It has, after all, a pampered trust-fund protagonist (played by Jason Bateman, in a bit of a stretch from his usual everyman persona) who ends up learning about life during a week in which he’s cut off from his allowance.  Bereft of useful skills, housing, emergency money or lasting friendships, he ends up pursuing a woman despite his friend’s obvious attraction for her.  “What a cad!” seems to be the refrain, and it’s easy to be exasperated by this affluent-first-world-problems film.  It’s tough to sympathise with such a protagonist, and even tougher to actually care when he behaves so badly.  This being said, the movie isn’t as exasperating as the preceding may suggest: Droll narration bolsters the movie almost as much as the raw charm of Bateman and Olivia Wilde as the love interest.  The slight dialogue and scattered laughs mean that even if this romantic comedy fails, it fails to the generally amiable level of average romantic comedies –which is to say that you don’t have too bad of a time watching it.  The Longest Week is a bit smug and precious and pretentious, but it’s charming in its own one-percenter-narcissistic-Manhattanite way, which is quite a bit more than you’d think.

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