MONDAY movie review
Sebastian Stan as “Mickey” and Denise Gough as “Chloe” in Argyris Papadimitropoulos’ MONDAY. (Image courtesy of IFC Films)

Forget about romance, “Monday” is a steamy hot bowl of doing the grownup. Sebastian Stan (“The Falcon and The Winter Soldier”) and Irish actress Denise Gough play two Americans on the rebound who meet on a beautiful Greek island, have sex, fall in love, have more sex, and then realize their lives are spiraling out of control, in other words, your average relationship. Exotic locations and likable characters go a long way as reality kicks in and the story runs out of steam.

The Winter Soldier has become The Summer DJ as Stan plays Mickey, a mid-thirties American living the life in Athens as a popular DJ surrounded by beautiful people, plenty of tequila, and an annoying but rich Greek friend named Argyris (Yorgos Pirpassopoulos). Mickey is not only old but also old school. He doesn’t drive a Lamborghini Huracan like Deadmau5, he rides a scooter, and forget about EDM, his go-to track is Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” which still packs the dancefloor or in this case, the sandy beaches of Greece.

Review

MONDAY (2021)

Sebastian Stan, Denise Gough, Yorgos Pirpassopoulos, Dominique Tipper, Elli Tringou, Andreas Konstantinou, Sofia Kokkali, Syllas Tzoumerkas, Chloe Sirene

Directed by Argyris Papadimitropoulos

Gough — an acclaimed theater actress — plays Chloe, an American immigration lawyer who’s just getting over a rough break from a relationship. She’s ready to leave the islands and head back to the states but her itinerary changes when she meets the dashing DJ Mickey. They lock lips and wake up on the beach naked surrounded by families and the police. Anyone not comfortable with nudity may want to skip this flick as Stan and Gough have no problem exposing their bodies.

Chloe cancels her return to the states after Mickey shows up at the airport screaming her name, the only thing missing is a Byzantine version of Simon & Garfunkel songs. They go to an island where they swim, dance, do shots, have more sex, and in the midst of their whirlwind romance, become roomies. Uh-oh. It’s about to get hella real.

The dialogue in the film is mostly improvised which is not a problem since Stan and Gough are both good actors and, in this case, it adds to the film’s realism. None of what happens in “Monday” feels bogus, plenty of couples have been in a similar relationship. You may not be able to relate but you can fantasize and so watching these two live off the cuff is at times exhilarating. Papadimitropoulos packs plenty of energy and comedy into the story but three-quarters of the way the film’s stamina begins to wane, and it never fully recovers.

Still, “Monday” keeps the audience entertained thanks to Sebastian Stan and Denise Gough as the mismatched couple who despite being so wrong for each other, you can’t help but root for them.

(3 stars)

Opens Friday, April 16 at The Grand Berry Theater

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Joe Friar

Member of the Critics Choice Association (CCA), Latino Entertainment Journalists Association (LEJA), the Houston Film Critics Society, and a Rotten Tomatoes approved critic.

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