Monday, November 3, 2008

Reel Thoughts: Cabin Fever

There’s nothing wrong with taking a familiar trip, as long as something interesting and entertaining happens. In 3-Day Weekend, that’s what committed couple Jason (Douglas Myers) and Simon (Derek Meeker) hope for when they instruct their friend Cooper (Derek Long of Socket) and his boy-toy du jour Ace (Stephen Twardokus) to invite two single guys along on their weekend up at their gorgeous cabin.

In addition, the hosts each invite a single friend as well, although Simon’s guest is a bit more familiar than Jason would like. While Jason asks a nerdy coworker, Mac (Chris Carlisle), Simon invites Andre (Daniel Rhyder), a male escort he’s been regularly seeing. Worse yet, a couple of the other men “know” him too, through his line of work.

The weekend becomes a time for new romance to bloom while old relationships take a serious beating. Writer/director Rob Williams has assembled an attractive cast (with one glaring exception) and, although the acting ranges from engaging to embarrassing, I think you’ll enjoy spending a 3-Day Weekend with these guys.

The major problem with 3-Day Weekend is that its familiarity breeds contempt. In the overacting Olympics comprised of Jason and Simon’s big blowups, not only are their problems tired and not very well explored, the two actors look like they’re doing a final exam in a beginning acting class. While Meeker is gorgeous and more subdued, Myers is “acting for the Superdome,” as a friend once said. I also find it ludicrous to believe that a stud like Meeker would pay money for the over-processed and effete Andre, who hardly seems believable as an escort in the first place.

On the positive side, Mac’s blossoming with the help of a nude yoga instructor (Gaetano Jones) strikes a nice note of realism sure to appeal to people who remember their first crush. Joel Harrison, who plays Ace’s hot-to-trot buddy Cameron, does a nice job as a sexy himbo. Long’s acting is much better than it was in Socket (which isn’t saying much) but he does manage to play his daddy bear role with enough of an edge that you’re never sure if he loves his boy or not.

3-Day Weekend compares itself to Love! Valour! Compassion! except “without the tutus,” and perhaps younger viewers will react to it as such. It comes out on DVDNovember 18 with plenty of extras (like an alternate ending, cast interviews, etc.) from TLA Releasing; watch the trailer here.

Review by Neil Cohen, resident film critic of Movie Dearest and Phoenix's Echo Magazine.

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