'SNL' alum leads Stella Meghie's quirky romantic comedy about a struggling comedian forced to spend a weekend with her mother, her ex, and her former lover's new woman
A weekend getaway to a sun-kissed bed & breakfast (with a delicious man in tow) sounds like a sumptuous treat for any wanderlusting millennial, right? Such is not the case for Saturday Night Live alum Sasheer Zamata‘s Zadie, a struggling comedian whose picturesque trip to the California countryside turns into a romantic nightmare in EW’s exclusive trailer for Everything, Everything director Stella Meghie’s festival breakout The Weekend.
“In romantic comedies, women usually fall into a situation or fall victim to things that happen to her, and I think Zadie is interesting because she causes a lot of problems for herself,” Zamata previously told EW of her offbeat, sharp-tongued character, who begrudgingly agrees to visit a rustic inn owned by her mother (Kym Whitley) alongside her ex-boyfriend, Bradford (Disjointed‘s Tone Bell) and his new lover, Margo (She’s Gotta Have It actress DeWanda Wise), while kindling a new flame (Insecure‘s Y’lan Noel) of her own. “Her personality and inability to move on or accept change causes tension with others…. We’re usually given female characters who are pure, innocent, or perfect, and it’s fun to play somebody who’s unapologetically not those things.”
The clip (above) teases Zadie’s gleefully awkward stay with her standoffish mama, her growing mistrust of Margo (“she may have been at the center of an HPV breakout,” nor does she watch the news because “it’s on at the same time as the Real Housewives,” Zadie speculates), and her budding chemistry with Noel’s Aubrey (including a particularly hilarious bit involving cramped car sex in the tiny backseat of her new beau’s ride).
A stand-up comedian herself, Zamata’s experience helped inform Meghie’s approach to the acerbic character during production, which the actress attributes to comedians’ inherent “third eye,” which allows them to dissect situations “as they’re happening” to the point that they’re “not only living life, [but] analyzing life” at the same time.
It all makes for a refreshing, bold approach to the genre — one that savors its character’s blunt, rough-around-the-edges qualities instead of trying to refine them.
“She loves working with black people and continues to tell our stories, but stories that are also just human stories where it doesn’t matter that we’re black,” Zamata finished. “I want to see humans living their lives, and that’s what Stella is so good at: showing life. It’s important to show these stories, because we can have romance, be funny, and do things that you haven’t seen people of color access for years because they’re things we expect in a white space.”
The Weekend enters limited theatrical release on Sept. 13 — the same day it hits digital and VOD services. Watch EW’s exclusive trailer above, and see several exclusive photos below.