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By Bobby LePire | February 12, 2021

All of this is brought to exquisite life by the actors. Bloomquist’s good looks and natural charm make him an affable lead, one that the audience easily roots for. For Edwards, this movie is only her third feature-length credit, and it proves she has a long and fruitful career ahead. She is perfect as the sometimes uncertain but very smart Harper. McMeans is energetic and spirited, wonderfully bringing to life Alison’s dreams and adventurous attitude.

Berisha has a tricky role, as he must be appealing enough to justify Harper ever wanting to date him. But he also needs to be so bullish that her uncertainty of their future feels genuine. The actor does so with aplomb. A scene where he’s trying to goad Harper and James to go swimming, despite them not having their suits, is played with the right amount of carefree fun and entitlement.

“…managed to knock one right out of the park.”

During a drinking game involving “yes or no” questions, the more drunk and paranoid the foursome become, the more chaotic the editing gets. It turns something as supposedly fun as a game into an intense exploration of where these characters are at the moment. The end of that sequence leaves viewers exhausted and even more secure in their ideas about each character. It is beautiful and just one illustration of Bloomquist’s exquisite direction of Weekenders.

Weekenders does not add any phony drama or last-minute secrets to try and force a narrative shift. It just carefully watches Harper, James, Blake, and Alison as they get to know each other. Jealousy rises and then subsides. Jokes are told, and a shorthand is formed. Furtive glances are exchanged but are not necessarily acted on. This is as realistic as a fictional narrative can get, and viewers will be as invested in these characters’ lives as they are their actual friends.

Weekenders (2021)

Directed and Written: Erik Bloomquist

Starring: Erik Bloomquist, Peyton Michelle Edwards, Ehad Berisha, Maggie McMeans, etc.

Movie score: 10/10

Weekenders Image

"…furtive glances are exchanged but are not necessarily acted on."

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