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Honesty Weekend

By Kyle Bain | February 15, 2021

John Goodson (Evan Watkins) and his wife Ava (Natalie Ceballos) are having trouble in their relationship and have decided to visit a marriage specialist. The specialist, Dr. Sam Digman (Allan Wasserman), has a way for the two to work through their issues: they have to be honest with each other regarding everything for an entire weekend. What is being referred to as their Honesty Weekend is challenging for the young couple, but they have subscribed to the idea regardless. Is honesty always the best policy?

The film aims to express the difficulties of marriage (and sexual relationships) through comedy to appeal and relate to viewers. While that idea is terrific, the attempted humor fails to relay the necessary information or attract audiences in the fashion writer-director Leslie Thomas had hoped. However, the moments that fall between the failures, those showcasing genuine moments of love, will resonate with viewers. The moments of sincere emotion, particularly toward the end, entertain viewers and allows them to understand the importance of the movie’s message.

“…two couples and fifth and sixth wheels vacation at a house for the weekend…”

Throughout Honesty Weekend, two couples and fifth and sixth wheels vacation at a house for the weekend, and the idea of love, given the interesting dynamic, is tested in nearly every way. The story is meant to identify love’s flaws and, more importantly, its strengths. What makes the film even more interesting is that, regardless of the fact that the majority of the actors have little to no chemistry with one another, the message that they are conveying is still clearly understood.

As the plot weirdly unravels, viewers are dragged through the reality of love and its unforgiving nature. The clarity and the realism present throughout is a testament to Thomas’ keen understanding of the world in which we live. She may not understand comedy, but she understands human emotion and leads her viewers on a journey of potential vulnerability throughout Honesty Weekend.

So much about Honesty Weekend fails to entertain the way it was meant to, so why would anyone enjoy it? The answer is simple: viewers are able to make connections with themselves and their actual relationships through the mess that are these characters in this situation. The comedy and the poorly-established relationships make parts difficult to watch, but the filmmaker’s acute comprehension of marriage and its quandaries allows the movie to find success. There isn’t a lot to love about Honesty Weekend, and, ultimately, much of it feels unimportant. However, there is one aspect that is essential: it acts as a way for viewers to be honest with themselves about life and love.

Honesty Weekend (2021)

Directed and Written: Leslie Thomas

Starring: Evan Watkins, Natalie Ceballos, Dioni Michelle Collins, Adam Bartley, Pete Ploszek, Sabina Gadecki, Allan Wasserman, etc.

Movie score: 6.5/10

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"…she understands human emotion and leads her viewers on a journey..."

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