In the chorus of the Keane song “Spiralling”, vocalist Tom Chaplin sings, “When we fall in love, we’re just falling in love with ourselves.” That can’t be said of Mickey (Sebastian Stan) and Chloe (Dominique Tipper), the central couple in Argyris Papadimitropoulos’ promising but generic romance drama Monday.
For all their sins, Mickey and Chloe absolutely adore each other. So much so that they have sex — which we tend to see — in just about every place (and position) you can think of, and some you won’t. Not to be a prude, but I think there’s actually too much sex in Monday, a movie that could save a good 15 minutes or so if it was a little less horny.
Then again, Mickey and Chloe are very horny. Frustrated thirty-somethings living dead-end romantic lives in Athens, they hook up abruptly one Friday night and continue a whirlwind romance in the city over a formless following few months. It’s my (disappointingly well-informed) belief that strangers don’t just kiss, regardless of how attracted they are to each other. But Chloe is all over Mickey as soon as they lay eyes on each other, presumably Papadimitropoulos’ interpretation of what “love at first sight means” for drunk millennials.
Chloe is a freelance immigration lawyer — how many movies have been made about those? — and Mickey is a DJ, which means lots of shots of sweaty people dancing to bad music in unrealistically clean nightclubs. To that end, it’s not exactly topical. That’s not the movie’s fault, but it does miss the chance to be a little more joyous in these scenes than it comes across. As Mickey says early on, “People like shitty music nowadays”, but we’re treated nonetheless to plenty examples in what is probably an excessive 115 minutes.
Unfortunately, flaws in Monday go a little beyond aesthetics. Both Chloe and Mickey are extroverted to the point of obnoxious; their friends are much worse. And basic commitment issues seem to be the big hurdle for much of the runtime, which isn’t quite good enough for an intelligent romantic drama in 2020. It might be Chloe moving into Mickey’s house, but it’s Mickey who has all the proverbial baggage. Sadly, Monday’s baggage is too heavy to forgive its rare flashes of chemistry and charisma.