Overview: Attempting to reconnect, a married couple goes on a weekend ski trip only to find out that the husband’s ex, a woman he still pines for, owns the lodge. 2013; PNW Pictures; Not Rated; 86 minutes.
What Story?: Taking your wife to the exact ski lodge you spent many romantic weekends with your ex (the one that got away) isn’t the brightest plan, but Carl (Sam Huntington) isn’t the brightest guy. The only way matters can be made worse is the moment you realize your ex, Robyn (Emmanuelle Chriqui) now owns the lodge and your wife, Sue (Meaghan Rath) is about to find out everything you never told her. I suppose there’s a good story somewhere in here. Perhaps there’s a story about reconciling the possibility that the love of your life and your spouse are two different people. Maybe there’s a story about the struggle surrounding maintaining intimacy in a monogamous relationship. It could potentially be a cautionary tale about seemingly insignificant decisions bearing lifelong consequences. But Three Night Stand isn’t concerned with any of those things.
The Dark Rom-Com: I suppose Three Night Stand would want to call itself a romantic comedy, though I’m sure the genre would wholeheartedly reject the notion. While there are moments of humor (largely supplied by an amusing, albeit an entirely unnecessary cast of supporting characters) and moments of romance (or, more accurately, awkward sexual encounters), it certainly does break the rom-com mold, but it isn’t exactly adding anything to the genre.
Let’s Get Together. Or Not: Writer/director Pat Kiely succeeds in crafting believable, sometimes humorous dialogue but missteps with a ridiculously contrived plot and long, messy explanations for some of the more outrageous occurrences. Carl and Sue are an unlikely couple to begin with, and very little about their relationship seems worthy of saving. Not only that, but two of our main characters are also the least intriguing of them all. In fact, the only remark any character makes in reference to Sue is how stunning she is. A fully developed female character really is the unicorn of Hollywood. While writers may feel it cumbersome to give audiences anything glimmer of a backstory, the absence of any insight into Carl and Sue’s pairing (or even Carl and Robyn’s former relationship) ultimately leaves an apathetic audience; with no stake in the game, the “will they or won’t they?” dynamic is tiresome. The cast eventually grows to eight characters, and I gave a flying fuck about not one.
All in All: Three Night Stand had the makings of a refreshing, new kind of indie rom-com but meandered without direction, falling flat.