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Six Days Seven Nights

Review: 'Six Days, Seven Nights' transparent fluff

Web posted on: Friday, June 12, 1998 12:25:31 PM

From Reviewer Paul Clinton

(CNN) -- The big, burning, and by now boring question about "Six Days, Seven Nights" is, "Can Anne Heche pull off a romantic role opposite Harrison Ford since she's in a very public intimate relationship with Ellen Degeneres?"

The answer is yes. That's why they call it acting. Get over it.

In director Ivan Reitman's latest summertime offering, Anne Heche plays Robin Monroe, a New York City magazine editor who's on vacation in the South Pacific with her fiance, Frank, played by David Schwimmer. Everything is hunky dory and lovey dovey until suddenly, a work-related problem forces her to take a short plane trip to the island of Tahiti on business.

The only airplane available is an old weather-beaten DeHavilland Beaver. The only pilot available is an old weather-beaten guy named Quinn Harris, played to perfection by Harrison Ford. Ford, who recently got his own pilot's license, did all the flying in the film.

Theatrical movie trailer for "Six Days Seven Nights"

6.3Mb QuickTime movie

Tropics storm, pirates attack

Of course we need jeopardy in this story, so the plane crashes on the way to Tahiti in a sudden tropical storm, and Harrison and Heche become stranded on a desert island.

Next comes the obligatory pirate attack. South Pacific, deserted island: it had to happen. Surprise, surprise, they escape by the skin of their teeth. Naturally all this conflict, heat, sun and sand make them fall desperately in love despite the odds. Roll credits.

If all that sounds a little too simplistic, it is. At times this film reminded me of an old "Gilligan's Island" episode. I distinctly remember a show with Gilligan running away from a bunch of pirates who looked exactly like the ones chasing Harrison and Anne.

Basically this film wants to be another "Romancing The Stone." It isn't. The comedy is much too broad. And to be blunt, I'm just not a big fan of the type of comedy favored by Reitman. "Meatballs" and "Stripes," his most famous previous works, are not my cup of tea. So when "Six Days, Seven Nights" went swerving into the yuk, yuk mode I tuned out just a little.

But this $81 million film has a fairly breezy script by Michael Browning, and is beautifully shot by director of photography Michael Chapman. The locations on the Hawaiian island of Kauai are spectacular.

There is also some wonderfully witty repartee between Ford and Heche, who brings new meaning to the word "adorable."

Heche is also very effective, even if she does come across a little too peppy at times -- sort of like Mitzi Gaynor in "South Pacific" ... on speed.

As always, Ford brings great wit, manliness and confidence to his role. And there is sexual tension between the two leads.

"Six Days, Seven Nights" is not the best thing since sliced bread, but it is worth seeing if you like broad, romantic comedies. It's rated PG-13 with a running time of 101 minutes.

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