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Dead by Monday is a darkly comic tale of love and death... but not necessarily in that order. Julie is a sweet, vulnerable young woman who lacks confidence and is obsessed with the memory of her dead husband whom she idealizes. Alex is an angry writer. Talented but unable to repeat the success of his first novel, he has nothing left to say. Or live for. He just wants to die. Fate introduces these two lost souls at the edge of a cliff. While picking flowers Julie accidentally falls off. Alex, who has come to blow his brains out, is interrupted by her cry for help, just before he pulls the trigger. They part as strangers but their paths cross again when Julie stumbles on the identity of her mysterious rescuer. From that point on, every time he tries to do away with himself, Julie unwittingly manages to foil him. Soon, however, she, too, lapses into despair and wants to end her life when she discovers a devastating secret about her dead husband. The two meet again at a hospital where ... Written by
Although considered to be a dark comedy, Dead by Monday never quite reaches the lightless corners you hope it will. The thread of loss is sewn through the film; lovers, husband, agent, ability to write and eventually the will to live. While the film steers clear of feeding us the sickly sweet syrup you find dripped over most films from that part of the world, there are few surprises and the ending is a tad predictable. That said though, the direction flows smoothly and Curt Truninger's choice of leads is spot on. Helen Baxendale is one of many bright British stars as is Tim Dutton and they both shine in their turns as Julie and Alex.
The idea that two Brits may meet in a film must somehow appear unbelievable as Helen Baxendale is forced to deliver her lines with a lip-twisting Canadian accent, and while passable, just seems unnecessary.
So the story of sad boy meets sad girl, with a twist and a road trip is worth watching and an applaudable effort for second-time-out director Curt Truninger.
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