A Week Away
Netflix’s latest addition to its seemingly never-ending repertoire of teenage romances is A Week Away. It’s a musical, which only drives the feeling that it’s a Christian knock off of the iconic Camp Rock. The film follows Will, a troubled teenager who has spent years in the foster-care system after the untimely death of both his parents. After attempting to steal a cop car he is faced with an ultimatum by his social worker. He can either go to Juvie or a summer camp with foster parent Kristin and her son George. The pair happily welcome the reluctant and brooding teen, whose apprehension is only exacerbated by the fact that the summer camp is religious.
Upon arrival Will immediately falls for the seemingly perfect girl Avery and finds an enemy in the highly competitive Sean. The camp consists of three teams who battle against each other in a series of games in the hope of being crowned the winners by the end of the week. Will feels compelled to hide his shameful past and his lack of faith in God after his parents were ripped away from him.
The most important thing to note of this feature is that it does not contain a single ounce of originality. Every trope, plotline and joke is copied from another movie. Like Avery, the perfect, pretty good girl who is just so fed up of trying to be the person who everyone expects her to be. Sounds familiar? Or how the cool, irreverent Will helps the nerdy, shy George to get his dream girl, who apparently has “the perfect shoe size, seven and a half narrow.” Since when were young women judged by their shoe size?
This picture tries to glide over the considerable trauma of children who go through the care system. It has been an issue that has become more central in conversations as of late, particularly in the US. It would have been refreshing to see a coming-of-age flick that represents the hardship of being a foster child, but instead, A Week Away offers a condescending and shallow account. As if one week of paint balling, swimming and singing can mend years of loneliness and grief.
With messy choreography, tragic lip synching and a focus on religion that ultimately prevents the film from having any resonance with the modern teenager, A Week Away is only a short distance away from being one of the worst Netflix original pictures.
A Week Away is released on Netflix on 26th March 2021.
Watch the trailer for A Week Away here: