Indie drama about family dysfunction has mature themes.
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Last Weekend is an indie comedy about a dysfunctional family that features strong language throughout (including "f--k"); a scene wherein a man is shown from behind masturbating; references to sex, alcohol, and drugs; and a few scenes wherein lives are endangered by allergic reactions and electrocution, though both characters survive. It's a meditation on the relationship between grown children and their wealthy parents, and it deals with class, race, and sexuality with some interesting perspectives, but it's not appropriate or meant for younger kids.
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What's the Story?
When Celia (Patricia Clarkson) invites her sons and their significant others home for a weekend, they don't know she and her husband have plans to sell the house or that she's hoping for a last perfect weekend to reminisce about their lives at Lake Tahoe. Instead, the kids are caught up in their own lives, filled with simmering resentments, and a few unexpected accidents throw the entire weekend off the rails.
Is It Any Good?
LAST WEEKEND is easy to dismiss -- it's an indie film about rich white people and their problems. And it takes a while to become invested in these self-centered characters and their self-absorbed mother, who seems far more concerned with her perfect house, antique collectibles, and table settings than the actual problems her children are going through.
But as it goes on there are some strong undercurrents that begin to emerge, helped by the beautiful setting and cinematography and Patricia Clarkson in the lead. Here is a woman reconciling the final chapter in her life, her role as a mother, her feelings about whether she's left a good legacy behind, or what it even means to be a good person. There are scenes that touch upon the socioeconomic divide and the ignorant cruelties the wealthy often inflict on those around them, but in the end, the story is really a universal one about growing older and the meaning of family. There is strong language and some very mature scenes that feature masturbating, casual drinking, and some near-deaths that make this film too heavy for kids and young teens.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how wealth is portrayed in the film. Does it seem accurate? How does it compare to wealth in other films?
What does the film seem to say about relationships with our parents as we age?
What do the filmmakers tell us about class in the relationships between the family and their domestic workers?
- On DVD or streaming: December 30, 2014
- Cast: Patricia Clarkson, Joseph Cross
- Directors: Tom Williams, Tom Dolby
- Studio: MPI Home Video
- Genre: Drama
- Topics: Adventures, Holidays
- Run time: 94 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: March 30, 2022
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