Combustible Celluloid
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With: Patricia Clarkson, Julio Oscar Mechoso, Zachary Booth, Rutina Wesley, Fran Kranz, Devon Graye, Joseph Cross, Alexia Rasmussen, Sheila Kelley, Mary Kay Place, Judith Light, Chris Mulkey, Julie Carmen, Jayma Mays
Written by: Tom Dolby
Directed by: Tom Dolby, Tom Williams
MPAA Rating: NR
Running Time: 94
Date: 08/29/2014

Last Weekend (2014)

1 Star (out of 4)

Rotten 'Weekend'

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

The wonderful Patricia Clarkson is the best thing in Last Weekend. But not even she can get her mouth around the movie's stiff, tacky dialogue that sounds less lifelike than it would have if it had been expressed in animal noises, grunts, and growls. Part of the problem is that these characters are wealthy and the filmmakers do not understand how to make them seem human to non-wealthy moviegoers. But another part of the problem is that the characters, their situations, and they way they talk about them and deal with them, are just incredibly uninteresting.

I was thinking of listing all the characters and the actors that play them, but it seems like a waste of time. Clarkson plays Celia Green, one of those amazingly uptight characters who likes to control everything. She assembles three grown children for Memorial Day Weekend at a vacation "cottage" at Lake Tahoe; it's really a mansion that can easily fit a dozen people, plus a servant's quarters and a boathouse. The children pick fights about meaningless things, or else they keep stupid secrets, wherein, if they simply opened their mouths, we wouldn't have a movie. Aggravatingly, one character is a wannabe screenwriter; it just makes you wonder how rotten his script must be.

At least the scenery is lovely when it's not being blocked by these annoying humans. The only other interesting thing about this forgettable dud is that it's written and co-directed by Tom Dolby, the son of the late, great Ray Dolby, who invented the famed sound system. Believe me, that little factoid is more interesting than the entire movie.

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