Director: Justin Hardy
Cast: Sarah-Jayne Butler, Tim Plester, Georgia Maguire
Watch Love Me Till Monday online in the UK: BFI Player+ / BFI Player / TalkTalk TV / iTunes / Curzon Home Cinema
“Are you a witch?” asks a guy from Rebecca’s office whom she really fancies. “No,” she replies, hastily putting away her book of old English magic. “It’s ok, he says. “I think it’s cute.”
This is perhaps the weakest point of Love Me Till Monday, but it also sums up what it gets right.
Justin Hardy’s low-budget comedy-drama follows the attempts of 20-something Rebecca (Georgia Maguire) to find a bloke. Stuck in a dead-end office job, she hooks up with a string of men, but they only ever seem to last a weekend or two. “I’ll see you Monday,” they invariably say, a parting as amicable as it is awkward.
Helping to raise her little brother and struggling to make friends at work, her life is believably uneventful; Hardy spends as much time riding the bus with his lead as he does filming farewell parties for her fired colleague. Then, we follow into her garden, where she burns onions with “HIM” carved into it.
It’s a strangely underdeveloped subplot, which marks out Love Me Till Monday as different but also uneven. It is telling that there has been a small wave of indie comedies looking at 20-somethings struggling to find their way post-recession; 8 Minutes Idle trod a similar path, full of awkward humour and eccentric bosses. Rather than go the full Sabrina the Teenage Witch route, which would give Love Me Till Monday a compellingly unique voice, the incantations come and go as fleetingly as Melissa Joan Hart’s career, leaving them to be lost in the middling mix of other voices; echoes of Ricky Gervais’ The Office and Mitchell and Webb’s Peep Show.
The cast, though, make sure it all feels sincere. With credits ranging from HIM to “The One (Probably)”, the men in Rebecca’s life are as in-depth as their monikers require, but Georgia Maguire shines as an upcoming talent to watch. From her nervous smile to her big doe eyes, she enchants without any need for a broomstick. She forms an engaging bond with Tim Plester, who plays her sympathetic employer, Steve. Together, they give the rom-com the heart it needs.
Do they know where their relationship is going? Do Rebecca’s witching hour activities have any relevance to the plot? Love Me Till Monday drifts along with an aimless earnestness that both frustrates and suits its protagonist. Is she a witch? Goodness knows. But the cute honesty of her performance certainly casts a spell.