‘Monday’ Review: A Year of Love and Its Hangovers

This movie’s first image is of a disco ball; the first song on its soundtrack is Donna Summer’s 1977 “I Feel Love.” But “Monday” isn’t a period piece.

The director Argyris Papadimitropoulos, who co-wrote the movie with Rob Hayes, understands that for some partyers from the Balearic Islands to the Mediterranean — this movie’s English-speaking soon-to-be-lovers are introduced to each other while getting their freak on in the director’s native Greece — staying young involves nostalgia for a sybaritic era you didn’t actually live through.

Mickey (Sebastian Stan), a D.J., and Chloe (Denise Gough), a lawyer, meet cute, and utterly smashed, on a Friday night, and wake up the next morning naked on a beach. They’re hauled off by cops to an embarrassed but not terribly traumatic reckoning with the law. These attractive characters are well past their 20s, which by some lights makes them a hair too old to be carrying on like this. Which is part of the film’s point, in fact.

The movie chronicles more than one weekend — it follows the relationship over almost a year, but each sequence kicks off on a Friday and ends on a Monday. Movie enthusiasts who bemoan that contemporary film is bereft of both romance and sex take note: The glue that keeps these two together is fiery physical contact, and the sex scenes are enough for a half-dozen movies.

Where their other affinities lie is something of a puzzle, but frequent intoxication can render such questions moot. The director’s semi-skewering of rom-com clichés, including the venerable race-to-the-airport bit, underscores their mutual unsuitability.

While “Monday” is not quite as bracing as Papadimitropoulos’s prior feature, “Suntan,” it’s a sharply observed, well-acted picture with a lot of tart detail and a few real stings in its tail.

Rated R for sexuality, and plenty of it. Language, too. In English and Greek, with subtitles. Running time: 1 hour 56 minutes. In theaters and available to rent or buy on Amazon, Google Play and other streaming platforms and pay TV operators. Please consult the guidelines outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention before watching movies inside theaters.

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