Films suffer from a lot of stereotyping, even more so in comedies. As you refine the genre and go from British comedies then focus on urban British comedies, it means there are fewer films on offer to break this practice.
So when something comes along that seems to have really paid attention to how real young people act, behave, talk, dress etc, it stands out.
The Weekend, from director Sheridan De Myers, does just this. Starring comedy trio, Mandem on the Wall, as a group of lads in Hackney, the film follows their antics from Thursday to Sunday, as uni boy of the group, Derick (Joivan Wade) comes back to their hometown.
It’s a classic mix-up situation as Derick, Malcolm (Percelle Ascott), and Tyler (Dee Kaate) somehow land with an immeasurable amount of £50 notes and have to decide not whether they hand it in but simply, what do they buy first?
We come to learn they’re not part of the popular crowd and as Derick’s having a tough time at uni, they decide this is their chance to become what they’ve always wanted to be: rich.
The three guys are relatable, real, and have impeccable comedic timing helped massively by no stilted dialogue so often seen in these kind of films. Not only that but it’s clear that all 3 men have a talent for comedy through the delivery of lines and even facial expressions which when all thrown in together, work in a way that’s impossible not to tickle you. A lot of humour works best for those best acquainted with London but it’s definitely not exclusive.
Visuals are also impressive. The cinematography is wonderful: clear, crisp images with bright vivid colours, which really accentuate the brilliant costuming! Editing is slick and sharp, too.
The places it falls short tend to be related to subplots and supporting characters. The comedic villain works but the idea behind it doesn’t seem clever enough for the rest of the film. Girls are more caricature-like and considering the amount of attention to detail given to the boys, it feels like no-one bothered fleshing out the girls. In term of a plot device, it highlights the love interest as someone more desirable as she’s not like the others, but it still doesn’t quite sit right.
There’s a scene in a hospital with a female cadaver that is rather tasteless and steps over the mark which was disappointing but as a sub-plot, it’s not integral to the story so is moved on from quickly.
These gripes are minimal when viewing the film as a whole, which is supported by a fantastic grime soundtrack featuring Tinie Tempah, Section Boyz, and JME.
Despite telling the story of some young unpopular boys, it doesn’t get hung up on the moral of the story. The stars of the show really are the trio and their comedic attributes with a slightly fresher look at the mix-up plot. The Weekend raises the bar comedically and technically for British urban comedies and the comedic trio are certainly ones to watch.
The Weekend hits cinemas Friday the 2nd of December.