|SIX DAYS SEVEN NIGHTS (1998)|
|"You know how a women gets a man excited? She shows up. That's it. We're guys, we're easy."|
|Time: 101 mins.|
Ford has a little romance and comedy spice up this onscreen adventure where he plays a gruff pilot stranded on a desert island with the spunky Anne Heche. An odd pairing that actually gives the mediocre plot spark and energy. Before becoming Ford's latest leading lady, Heche grabbed more headlines for her personal life than her acting. This role shows she's got real potential to be something more than tabloid fodder. Unfortunately, the best thing going for her in this outing is playing opposite Ford. Their charisma is the only thing that keeps this juvenile, lackluster story afloat.
The film opens with Robin (Heche), a fast-talking, overworked magazine editor and her boyfriend Frank (Schwimmer) deciding to get away from the hustle and bustle of New York on a vacation to the South Pacific. The trip is to celebrate their engagement and to finally give Robin time to relax. When the magazine calls, begging her to do a small assignment on a neighboring island, she tries to refuse. Given her ambitious nature, they know, in the end, she'll do what they ask. She apologizes to Frank and sets off with the island's only available pilot, the unsavory, drunken Quinn Harris (Ford). Their relationship doesn't exactly get off to a great start and takes a turn for the worse after they crash onto a supposedly deserted island.
Way out of her element, Robin expects Quinn to be a real man and get her back to civilization. All Quinn wants her to do is shut up. Since it might be awhile before they're rescued, they call a truce and try to figure out a way off the island. What they soon discover is they're not alone, not expected and certainly not wanted. On the run for their lives, they begin to see new and attractive sides to each other they never would have imagined from their rocky beginning. In the end, they put their heads together, coming up with a solution to their current predicament and escaping the clutches of their violent pursuers. However, a return to the real world, and her fiance, can't quell the passion Robin found on the island with Quinn. She knows they probably don't belong together, but that doesn't stop her from falling in love with him.
Now most women will tell you that it wouldn't be tough for them to fall for Ford, trapped on an island or not, myself included. So that's no big surprise. What's unfortunate is that Schwimmer is made so unattractive by comparison, there's really no reason for her NOT to leave him. He's so goofy and overbearing, I can't see why an attractive, smart and funny woman would stay with him for three years, nevermind agree to marry him. Maybe there really is a very limited selection of decent men to choose from in New York. They have no chemistry whatsoever, which makes her choice fairly obvious, regardless of Ford. Even if his character remained an obnoxious drunk, he'd still be 10 times better than Schwimmer. In fact, I often wondered if they even knew they were supposed to be acting with each other.
On the other hand, Heche and Ford are wonderful together. If the film had just stayed with them the entire time, instead of flipping back and forth to Schwimmer's over-the-top frat boy antics with a busty island girl, it would have been much better. That's not to say the scenes with Ford and Heche weren't silly and outrageous, some of them were, but they crackled with a wit and energy the other parts of the film lacked. Heche held her own with Ford and even stole a number of scenes. Despite the vast difference in their ages (they do confront it in the film), you want them to get together. Sure he could be her father, but he still looks damn good and you know that at the core he's a decent, fun, down-to-earth kind of guy. Though she's young, she proves she's smart, funny and self-reliant, which complements him perfectly. The scene where she turns him down bristles with sexual tension. She's a better woman than I would have been. It could have been months before they were rescued and that's just a part of survival, right girls?
This movie is entertaining only because of Ford and Heche. People were skeptical whether this film would work for many reasons (anyone would be if they saw SABRINA), but mainly because of Heche's sexuality. For the record, she's the best romantic lead Ford's had in years. She's a talented actress, who nails this role. I don't know of any actress in her age group who could have done it better, or frankly at all. She gave him a vitality on screen he hasn't shown in years. He was lucky to get her. Schwimmer tries to break out of his "Friends" role, but merely proves how utterly annoying he can be. I'm not sure a career in the movies is in the cards for him. Especially if he doesn't choose better roles than this. The film takes a violent turn that's a bit shocking considering the light and airy tone leading up to it. The smuggler subplot seems added on to throw a bone to the men in the audience. It also gives the romance a love or death quality that cranks up the passion, but isn't really needed. Being stranded would be enough for me. In any case, if you're looking for a fun, romantic treat, SIX DAYS SEVEN NIGHTS will satisfy your appetite.