The title is somewhat apt for this British indie feature because right after seeing it, you’ll hardly remember Love Me Till Monday for the rest of the week. TV director Justin Hardy’s transition from the small screen to the wide cinematic canvas proves ill-advised, migrating some of television’s most well-trod office sitcom elements and recycling many of the hard-and-fast rules and conventions of the romcom movie genre to terribly milquetoast results. Hardy gets the romantic waywardness of twentysomethings pat down – but what he’s forgetting is that this has been done to death, all the way to purgatory and back to Earth countless of times before.
Socially awkward yet mildly attractive post-graduate office neophyte who searches for love and ends up having a workplace affair (as if there isn’t enough men outside the office) is the prototype model of a Hollywood romcom – seriously, Jennifer Aniston and Jennifer Lopez’s careers have been built on this. In the hope of revivifying this tired, old cliché – we get drab pixie Georgia Maguire playing drab pixie Becky, a character as pale, lacklustre and dispensable as a dishtowel, you could literally throw and wipe her on any man-surface. This is a woman who pines for a hunky colleague (Royce Pierreson), ends up having a tentative relationship with her dorky boss Steve (Tim Plester). And when that doesn’t go down too well, as if office affairs haven’t warned us enough, she supposedly finds The One in the form of a stranger in a bus – all this happens under 93 minutes. And when she’s not actively looking for love – she’s performing love spells found in magic books, carving out amour fou in unpeeled onions under the moonlight and throwing them into a bonfire. This film is set in 2014, folks – not 1847.
In between Georgia’s flings and flirtations, Hardy gets to squeeze in brief moments of casual, if extraneous, levity. Sarah Jayne Butler’s delusional office secretary Vicki has a whale of a time convincing everyone of her potential engagement – a sequence that, while lightly amusing, feels completely superfluous and hardly consequential to the whole picture, with Hardy and co-writers Jack Fishburne and Muireann Price using this ultra-predictable subplot as an excuse to get the character do the de rigueur shindig and play the party track. In fact, the entire Love Me Till Monday project feels like an excuse to make a movie, not art. Somewhere in this film there’s an honest-to-goodness truth about drifting twentysomething humans who quietly brave through urban dislocation, romantic misgivings and professional limbo – but that doesn’t emerge at all and that’s because Hardy, judging on his aesthetics and execution, doesn’t have the wit, panache and sophistication to use the medium and turn it into compelling cinema.