Lowered Expectations: Our Review of ‘A Week in Paradise’

Lowered Expectations: Our Review of ‘A Week in Paradise’

Happy actresses are all alike, unhappy actresses have cheating husbands or something. The actress playing the unhappy actress is Malin Akerman, whose character Maggie normally juggles acting work and awards campaigning. That’s until she discovers her husband Christopher’s (Jack Donnelly) infidelity. My coping mechanism during my worst breakup was binging TV and listening to Florence Welch. But since Akerman is playing a prestigious actress, hers is going to her cousin Fiona’s (Connie Nielsen) resort in Nevis.

In Nevis, both Maggie and Fiona ruminate of where it went wrong and what signs she missed. There’s always time for Maggie to diverge and prove herself to be different. To prove that she’s not the paper thin archetype that she seems to be. But it seems like the movie she’s in, Philippe Martinez’ A Week In Paradise, is taking a path that most Hallmark movies take. Following Kate Wood’s script, Maggie has a meet cute with the resort’s baker and cook Sam (Philip Winchester).

Watching a scene when Maggie and Sam bake triggered me like I was watching a Christmas movie in February. I have a compromise though. This movie can exist if they stop making romantic Christmas movies.

Regardless, it’s always a good thing to try to find the good bones in a movie. I’m trying to do more of that now even if I have low expectations towards a movie. Viewers can see this silver lining through two of its leads. While watching, I sense a fascination at the idea of figuring out where a movie’s actors can fit. And that’s because they don’t quite fit here. I mean it’s a decent showcase for Winchester, especially that scene where he geeks out on cooking, but did he really leave SVU for this?

Returning to the topic of finding the right fit for actresses, Akerman and Nielsen are heading towards their ladies who lunch part of their careers, and both try to add nuance to their characters. I can also imagine being snarky about a movie about rich white people in the Caribbean. In fairness, Fiona having a C-plot relationship with a Black realtor Victor (William Nadylam). But there’s a feeling that that’s not enough to make this movie different. But of course it has to come back to Maggie and Sam. As their love ‘heats up,’ they basically end up in a beach reenact the beach scene in From Here to Eternity as if no one else has seen it.

There are also parts in A Week In Paradise where it seems like Akerman is struggling to act like a human being, and that struggle is more apparent in the third act. That’s when, duh, Christopher doesn’t even try to win her back but she has to have closure with him. She does this instead of, spoiler alert but who cares, the foregone conclusion where she tells him to leave so that she can stay. Like what’s the point of this act and watching a movie where the protagonist who doesn’t have a spine?

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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watch movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
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