As Beth flew into Croatia for her weekend away, there were many things on her mind. First and foremost was the fact that it would be great to see Kate again.
I mean sure, Kate had always seemed in another league, in Beth’s assessment. She was prettier. Richer. She was even classier … when she wasn’t drinking like a fish. But in college they had instantly become fast friends.
After that, their marriages pulled them in different directions. And that’s the second thing on Beth’s mind.
This will be the first time she’s been away from her family in quite some time. And she’ll miss them, of course. Well … she’ll miss her infant daughter, Aster. Beth and her husband Rob haven’t been getting along all that well since the birth. So, a break from him might actually be refreshing.
Is that selfish of me to think, she wonders? I mean, it seems like it’s been forever since she was able to just relax and have a good time without any other responsibilities. But she is married, so she doesn’t want Kate, who’s newly divorced, to drag her into anything too crazy.
As Beth steps out of her cab and walks toward the incredible Airbnb rental that Kate booked, though, she decides to make this weekend, this reunion with a dear friend, as fun and refreshing as possible. That will make everything better. She’s sure of it.
Little does Beth realize that some 12 hours later the local police will be squinting in her direction as a possible suspect in a crime. Was it a kidnapping? An assault? A murder? Something terrible will have happened, and she’ll have no memory of anything.
And that will only be the beginning of Beth’s weekend away.
In spite of Kate’s poor choices—some of which hurt Beth directly—she and Beth have a pretty good friendship. And Kate tries to correct some bad choices she’s made in the past.
Beth meets a cab driver named Zain, who appears very kind and caring. And with time, Beth comes to trust and rely on him. Even though his character is called into question by others, he proves himself to be a good, reliable friend who’s willing to risk his own wellbeing for Beth’s sake.
We find out that Beth is a caring person who spent part of her youth working with a global rescue initiative.
Kate tends to dress in slinky dresses that are a tad revealing. And when Beth admits that she forgot to bring a bathing suit for the hot tub, Kate says she’ll have to go in naked. Beth never does get into the hot tub, but Kate strips to her underwear and frolics there—hugging and kissing two guys. We see both Kate and Beth in their underwear—though Beth’s is less revealing.
We also see the back of Kate’s bare shoulders in the shower. We see a shirtless man in the bathroom. And the camera catches a short glimpse of a couple (dressed in underwear) making love in bed.
We find out about a sexual affair Kate had with a married man. And when she learns that Beth and Rob’s sex life has suffered since having a baby, Kate not only suggests that Beth divorce, she also hires two handsome male escorts to prompt Beth into having sex with them. (Beth objects and then passes out without ever going that far). When Beth wakes the next morning, she spots a pile of Kate’s clothes and underwear near a couple opened condom wrappers.
We see two different murders take place. In one, a man falls off a high precipice to his death (off-camera). In the second, a woman is shoved, and she hits her head on a large rock before landing face down in a body of water. Both of those are kept bloodless.
On the other hand, Beth wards off a potential attacker, slamming a door into his face and bloodying his mouth. She then shoves the man, and he bashes his head on the corner of a table. She thinks he might be dead, but he’s only unconscious.
One character suffers a cut from a broken wine glass and leaves a spatter of blood on the floor. Zain, while helping Beth find clues to a mystery, chases a guy down and then manhandles him, threatening to shove him off a cliff-like ledge. Zain also tells Beth about his beloved wife being killed by an attacker late at night. And after Beth accidentally slaps him, Zain notes that a man has three soft spots on his body—throat, crotch and eyes—that a woman should attack if she is in danger.
We see a pasty corpse from the shoulders up in a morgue. Beth is grabbed and shaken.
There are two misuses of Jesus name and 10 of God’s name. “B–ch” is exclaimed 5 times And the British crudity “bloody” is used twice, once in combo with “h—.”
Beth and Kate drink heavily, imbibing champagne, wine and gin. They start swilling the stuff in the afternoon and carry on through the whole night at a bar. Beth passes out and wakes the next day in an apartment strewn with empty wine glasses. Beth’s husband Rob drinks a beer.
Kate snorts cocaine. We find out that a group of guys regularly drug women with a particular anesthetic drug in an effort to rob them. Police send Beth to get drug tested.
Numerous lies and emotional betrayals pop up between the people we meet. Beth vomits after a night of heavy drinking. Someone steals a woman’s handbag and phone. Zain recommends that Beth “never trust people.” Someone uses hidden cameras to spy on people and their intimate moments. Beth and Zain run from the police. Someone is shown to be associated with a criminal element involved with human trafficking.
Though this movie’s title may sound like that of a romance or a comedy, The Weekend Away is actually a pretty solid murder mystery. It weaves together a tale that snags its innocent protagonist and nudges viewers to worry and fret as she attempts to untangle some well-crafted knots she’s inadvertently caught up in.
Of course, since it is what it is, there are other typical murder-tale elements to deal with here. The movie’s not bloody, but there are several deaths in the mix. Viewers will also encounter rough language, deception, sensual trysts, voyeurism, divorce, cocaine use and lots of heavy drinking.
It’s up to you to decide if those are, uh, deal killers.
After spending more than two decades touring, directing, writing and producing for Christian theater and radio (most recently for Adventures in Odyssey, which he still contributes to), Bob joined the Plugged In staff to help us focus more heavily on video games. He is also one of our primary movie reviewers.