Starring: Jason Bateman, Olivia Wilde, Billy Crudup
Director: Peter Glanz
Running Time: 86 mins
The Longest Week is an American film about a New York socialite who, after finding help from his best friend, ends up falling for his best friend’s girlfriend over the course of one tumultuous week.
I was really impressed by this film. Although it doesn’t quite succeed when trying to be a hilarious comedy, nor does it prove the most emotionally enthralling romantic drama, it is a boldly directed and uniquely styled film, taking strong cues from classic Woody Allen films like Manhattan and Annie Hall, along with its own certain sense of quirkiness throughout.
Let’s start on the bright side, with the film’s very distinct atmosphere and style. I call it ‘unique’, but it is in all honesty a film that pays a lot of homage to Woody Allen, however it’s a style that we see so rarely in the modern day that it still feels really refreshing.
The New York setting, the deep discussions about life, society and the mechanics of love, all along with a sweet yet elegant score throughout, is hugely reminiscent of the likes of Manhattan, and given that it’s a style that feels so classic, it makes for a really enjoyable watch, and all the more impressive seeing as it’s a style that’s fallen out of favour by the mainstream in recent decades.
In that, everything about The Longest Week is surprisingly striking. Whether it be the Woody Allen style or the film’s strongly quirky visuals and atmosphere, you can tell that a concerted effort has been made by director Peter Glanz to provide something a little different in the romantic genre, something that he undoubtedly does from beginning to end, and will surely have you smiling at its sweetness right the way through.
Of course, a striking style isn’t quite enough to really make a film, and I can’t quite say that the movie’s plot is on the same level. While I was impressed with the both entertaining yet surprisingly genuine performances from Jason Bateman, Olivia Wilde and Billy Crudup (all of whom seem like they’re on the verge of being in a Wes Anderson film, yet just genuine enough to be in the real world), this film still didn’t have the emotional power that I really wanted, which meant I wasn’t quite as engrossed by its story as I would have liked.
Believe me, The Longest Week is still an engaging and entertaining watch, but it’s more the thrill of being engrossed in that distinctive and striking cinematic style than anything else. With a good sense of humour, the plot itself is fairly fun to follow, but it’s not quite on the level of the best Woody Allen films, and won’t have you falling head over heels in love in the same vein as the likes of Annie Hall.
Overall, I really liked The Longest Week. It’s not a perfect film, but it’s one that pays homage to a classic style of romantic comedy in brilliant fashion, complete with delightful visuals, acting and music, even if it doesn’t quite prove the most emotionally enthralling film you’ll ever see, and that’s why I’m giving it a 7.7.