Reel Matt

This blog started as my movie marathon — watching a movie a day for a whole year — and has continued as a place for me to write reviews about movies, TV, and various other items.

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The Longest Week

Film #591

THE PLOT

Conrad (Jason Bateman) is helped by his old friend Dylan (Billy Crudup) and returns the favor by falling for Dylan's girlfriend Beatrice (Olivia Wilde).

THE REVIEW

My ratings can often be ambiguous and seemingly semi-random, but that’s the point of also including some form of written review here. And when I have weird reasons for a certain rating I often describe how exactly they fit in to my “methodology”.

The Longest Week is a strange movie and is not what I expected. I chose it mainly because it was on a streaming service, starred Jason Bateman and Olivia Wilde, and the trailer looked decent, so I thought, “Why not?” First off, the trailer is in the vein of modern trailers giving wayyy too much away. Not only that, but it really isn’t accurate to the style of humor and the actual appeal of the film. The trailer is fast-paced, paints a typical romantic-comedy picture, and is quite bland - something The Longest Week certainly is not.

What makes this film interesting and unique is its dry humor and lengthy pauses. Not unlike Manchester By the Sea (though extremely different in terms of genre, plot, and everything), The Longest Week is film built around pauses. It’s done in a funny way (the dry humor) but it’s more than that. It’s passed off as authentic for these characters but that seems wrong. It’s unnatural to watch but yet is also familiar. Stranger movies exist and more bizarre comedy is easily accessible, but The Longest Week sticks out. Bateman and Wilde are perfectly cast for their roles as Condrad Valmont and Beatrice Fairbanks. The narration also plays a key role in making this film stick out - it has an Arrested Development-like quality to it but serves a different comedic purpose here.

Back to my semi-random rating here, THe Longest Week is a strong three-star. Usually three-star films I view as either merely okay, or equal parts amazing and terrible averaging out to an okay film. But here I’m highlighting an aspect I don’t think I’ve alluded to before which is appeal. Personally I found The Longest Week enjoyable, but there are reservations. As funny as I found it to be, I don’t think a re-watch will look kindly on this film, and many people might not find its bizarreness as charming as I did (in fact, it appears that most do not). Hence, it is very middle-of-the-road. Depending on mood, it could be a four, could be a two — point is, I recommend giving this a try… but you may not like it.

THE RATING

3 out of 5