Linda Cook review: ‘Long Weekend’ is a smart romantic comedy … with a twist

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It spans a batch of genres – I’d be giving you spoilers if I told you which ones – but I guess “Long Weekend” can be considered a romantic comedy … a smart one, with a great twist.

Sometimes, with clever writing, a “meet cute” can work, as it does here, with a wonderful script and sparkling chemistry between the two leads.

Bart (Finn Wittrock, “Judy”) is down on his luck. He is recovering from a disastrous relationship, and he needs a job. His best friend Doug (Damon Wayons Jr.) and his family give him a place to stay while he seeks employment.

One afternoon Bart decides to go to a movie he loves – it’s “Being There,” which makes this all the more lovable – and he meets a woman named Vienna (Zoe Chao, “I Used to Go Here”) in an awkward but endearing moment outside the theater.

The two spend the day drinking, chatting and just getting to know each other. That is, Vienna gets to know Bart, but Bart comes away from their first meeting knowing next to nothing about Vienna.

Vienna doesn’t have a cell phone, and she carries bundles of cash. Is she on the run from the law? Possibly fleeing a marriage gone wrong?

Bart thinks it’s weird, and finally forces her to tell him just what her deal is … and doesn’t believe her.

The question is: Will you?

This is the first feature film for writer/director Stephen Basilone, who has written for the likes of television’s “Community” and “The Goldbergs.” I can’t wait to see what he has in store next.

I haven’t enjoyed a romantic comedy this much since “The Broken Hearts Gallery” from September of last year.

It’s a great date-night movie … with a little something extra. Open your mind and your heart, and enjoy.

3 ½ out of 4 stars

Running time: 91 minutes.

Rated: PG-13 for foul language and sexual situations.

At Cinemark, Davenport.

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