Directed by Argyris Papadimitropoulos.
Starring Sebastian Stan, Denise Gough, Dominique Tipper, Vangelis Mourikis, Andreas Konstantinou, Elli Tringou, Yorgos Pirpassopoulos, Orfeas Avgoustidis, Marisha Triantafyllidou, Alexandros Logothetis, Sofia Kokkali, Chloe Sirene, Syllas Tzoumerkas, Dimitris Kouroubalis, and Grigoris Sarantis.
A spark on a Friday can lead to a sizzling weekend fling, but what happens when you get to the inevitable Monday?
Monday is an embarrassment of a film which is a strong statement coming from someone that’s not a prude that enjoys a good tale of dysfunction and self-destruction. Directed by Argyris Papadimitropoulos (Suntan) the Athens located swirling toxic romance centers on DJ Mickey (Marvel superstar Sebastian Stan, and I recommend keeping your eyes fixated on The Falcon and the Winter Soldier to get your fix of him) and immigration lawyer Chloe (remarkable voiceover performer Denise Gough, most known for The Witcher franchise, who seems capable of giving a layered and terrific performance here if the material wasn’t so aggressively irritating and unlikable) who are magnetically drawn to each other at a rave with such lustful intensity they wind up waking up at the beach naked, subsequently getting arrested for indecent exposure.
With Chloe heading back to America after the weekend is up, Mickey attempts to sway her into staying. This is done with more sex scenes in the first 20 minutes than there might be in an entire entry for a Fifty Shades of Grey movie, occasionally in the most outlandish of public places such as in a car after reaching a roadblock. Now, far be it from me to put an airtight definition on love, but it’s clear that whatever is going on here is not love. The chemistry is there during segments of dancing, but when it comes to sex, Monday isn’t romantic or titillating. There’s no real sense of why these people are fucking for likely the tenth time today, no real understanding of the dynamic they are developing, and aside from the exhibitionist nature of some of the sex scenes, rarely is it steamy. The film feels like an excuse for Argyris Papadimitropoulos to make a movie in Greece shooting some attractive celebrities engaging in softcore porn.
It’s possible Argyris Papadimitropoulo thinks he is defying conventions of the romance genre. Rather than make viewers wait for a climactic and grandiose moment of Mickey professing his love at an airport before never seeing his new flame again, that sequence comes 25 minutes in complete with cheesy music. However, just because certain tropes are upended or played around with doesn’t mean that the exploration of romance on hand is something real or authentic. Most of the scenarios that arise between Mickey and Chloe are either unintentionally hilarious or legitimately bad in a brain-scrambling way that leaves one wondering why an acting talent the caliber of Sebastian Stan would not only sign up for this but also commit with full-frontal nudity. Sometimes, it’s a combination of both.
None of this is meant to shame either Sebastian Stan or Denise Gough for repeatedly bearing all (after over a year in isolation I’m sure plenty of people don’t necessarily have an objection to watching something this unabashedly horny), but at some point, it had to be clear to them that the script from Argyris Papadimitropoulos and Rob Hayes had nothing of interest to say in regards to the actual narrative at hand. It’s simply a barrage of sex scenes that, yes, does inevitably tip to something more story-focused, yet also severely lacks in characterization. Given the popularity of extended cuts lately, it wouldn’t surprise me if there was a four-hour cut of Monday that when Argyris Papadimitropoulos decided he wanted to chop it down to two hours, chose to butcher two hours of character development keeping in all the sex.
Anyway, Mickey also has a son that he can’t even be bothered to see let alone learning Greek to communicate with. Nevertheless, it’s clear he would like to be more of a constant in his son’s life despite a rough breakup. Chloe is also coming out of a rough relationship, although much of the emotional pain she faces here is difficult to empathize with given all of the bad decision-making on hand, like choosing to stay in a foreign country and live with someone after knowing them for three days. Unsurprisingly, their individual heavy baggage collides paving the way for something toxic. Adding cocaine to the mix doesn’t exactly help generate any sympathy.
The closest thing to an actual idea (aside from where these two can have sex next) is that Mickey, once a somewhat successful musician, seems destined to intentionally destroy any happiness that comes his way for a variety of reasons. There are supporting characters given brief screen time trying to flesh him out, but it’s all lost in a sea of exhaustingly watching Mickey and Chloe go from arguing to fucking ad nauseam. It doesn’t take long to see that these two becoming serious is a recipe for disaster, but that doesn’t stop it from being stretched out only to end on a cruel joke. That’s without even getting into the absolute structural mess Monday is, which only likes to focus on the weekends of these characters, as if we needed more complications for understanding them.
At one point, Mickey and Chloe throw a bash dubbed “the pointless party”, which turns to shit incredibly fast like everything in their lives, but is more than appropriate titling for this utterly pointless waste of time.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ / Movie: ★ ★
Robert Kojder is a member of the Chicago Film Critics Association and the Critics Choice Association. He is also the Flickering Myth Reviews Editor. Check here for new reviews, follow my Twitter or Letterboxd, or email me at MetalGearSolid719@gmail.com