Monday isn’t some phony romantic crowd-pleaser that’ll have everyone making heart eyes the second it releases. The drama from writer/director Argyis Papadimitropoulos weaves together two stunning performances into a kaleidoscope of self-destructive behavior, love, and passion. Set against the gorgeous backdrop of Greece, Monday is an honest snapshot of navigating relationships. Examining the messiness of the central characters, Mickey (Sebastian Stan) and Chloe (Denise Gough), through an accurate lens mostly avoids cutesy tropes.
Mickey and Chloe meet at a crazy party, and they share an instant spark. The two grow closer and closer, fueled by the horniness of their chemistry. When it comes time for Chloe to move from Athens back home, she decides to give their love a real chance. Can Mickey and Chloe make it work together, or does their relationship hinge on empty connection?
As a big fan of Sebastian Stan, I really enjoyed Monday—especially Stan’s performance. Mickey is a character taking full advantage of Sebastian’s natural charms and goofy grin. Chemistry between Stan and his co-star Denise Gough is essential. The closeups and zingy improvisational dialogue provide a strong foundation to the relationship very early on. It’s like the audience gets to live and breathe and examine every second of Mickey and Chloe’s whirlwind romance.
Some aspects of Monday almost have the feel of small vignettes as each day changes, and the love affair grows and evolves. A hilarious segment early on involving a bulky couch reflects the realistic frustrations of moving furniture—“we lost your favorite couch, but we gained a family!” A bizarre party scene where the two worlds of Mickey and Chloe mix and commingle doesn’t go as planned. My favorite part was the drug-fueled nude bike ride, an exciting sequence that highlights how unhinged this relationship has become. The couple’s sex life goes from passionate and fulfilling, to dull and boring, then back again. The constant fluctuation reflects the ever-changing nature of human sexuality. The excitement and thrill of something new isn’t necessarily the mark of a healthy union that will stand the test of time.
Monday is a completely unconventional romance, and for that reason alone, I found it highly entertaining. For some, this movie won’t be an easy sell. There’s more to it than just the charming first act, a reality that serves as not-so-meta commentary on the romantic comedy genre as a whole. Not everyone gets their happy ending… Monday opens in select theaters, on digital platforms, and VOD on April 16th.