Sebastian Stan is becoming one of the most known young actors working today. With most knowing him from his time at Marvel, Stan has made some interesting role choices. Thankfully his latest "Monday," courtesy of IFC Films, is quite another interesting pick. Starring alongside Denise Gough, our story follows a couple who came to an abrupt realization after a romantic weekend in Greece. What happens to us on Monday? Are we really in love? That idea makes "Monday" one of the more interesting romantic dramas out there, which is no small task when the material gets as heavy as this.

The biggest asset to a film like this is just how disarmingly charming it starts. Watching Mickey (Stan) and Chloe (Gough) have their "meet-cute" and fall in love is just kinetic. Their attraction to one another is instant on a physical level, but not as much emotionally. Gough and Stan are given a chance to play characters that aren't blatantly likable. These characters are the equivalents of adult babies, not knowing how to act in the real world. When we realize this, like the characters, there's no way out.

Without any spoilers, what makes "Monday" tick is the mundanity in these characters' life. Their romance is euphoric as it starts, then hits the audience with layers of dark comedy. It's a subtle balance that our stars have to strike, but they do so with ease. Some may say that comes from a lack of chemistry, but I viewed that as the core theme. "Monday" works as something about a doomed couple from the start of a romance. As an audience, we can immediately see that these characters aren't the right fit—a relatively minute detail to some, but one that serves a point.

At its core, "Monday" is a film about mistakes that supposed "magical life moments" bring forward. Within its first half-hour, we've already gone through all the motions of classic "rom-com." It's the sort of detail that makes the later half as emotionally tense as it winds up, including the biting ending. While not for everyone, how these characters' stories close couldn't have been more perfect. The unfortunate aspect is just how long it takes to get a rather satisfying conclusion.

Watching this couple argue was more genuine to me than their romance. The early portions have a hypnotic sensibility but never feel real. I won't spoil the characters' situations, but they don't push the story along. It spins its wheels on the idea of this character's infatuation, which isn't as meaningful as the film thinks it is. Clocking in at almost two hours long, you can certainly feel the gears churning. Thankfully there's a wide enough batch of interesting ideas that I found myself to be a bit more forgiving than normal.

If you wanted to see "Monday" from the marketing, you're being sold a different film. This is a story about people who aren't a good fit. Though that certainly doesn't mean they don't love each other deeply. It's such a fascinating dynamic with two really impressive lead performances to guide us along. This is such a unique spin on the romantic film formula that I cannot recommend it enough. Not all of its lands, but the territory being explored here is more along with the work of classic French cinema. Seeing something like that with reasonably big-name stars was refreshing to see. Streaming on VOD now, if you're in the mood for something out of the ordinary, check it out!

Rating: 6.5/10

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