Seven Girlfriends (2000) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)
|One of the pleasures of doing
this is getting to see some worthwhile films that never
make it to theatrical distribution, like "Angel's
Dance" and "Picking up
the Pieces", and this warm and sincere romantic
The movie opens as Tim Daly is with his current girlfriend when he gets a call from a previous lover. She is calling from her car, wearing a wedding dress, fleeing her wedding because she still thinks she's in love with Daly. Unfortunately, during the course of this conversation , she is killed in a violent traffic accident.
|This gets Daly to thinking about his life, the fact that he can't seem to form a permanent bond with anyone, and he asks his current girlfriend to marry him. She says no, fully aware that he's just reacting to his grief over the other girl's death. This shatters him again, especially when she dumps him the next morning. All this happens on a Wednesday, and he takes off the rest of the time between then and the funeral on Sunday, using the time to visit all of his ex-girlfriends and ask them why they thought things didn't work out.||
|The premise sounds a bit too much like
"High Fidelity", but the two movies don't
really have much in common. "Hi Fi" has an
edge, and this film has a mushy, but entertaining core.
Daly is making a sincere attempt to evaluate his
mistakes, not attempting some self-justification.
I thought it was a helluva good romantic comedy, for a couple reasons:
Great script. One of the most cohesive and interesting scripts since "The Red Violin". (1) The film does a remarkable job at making the dialogue funny, yet honest. (2) The characters are always doing something interesting as background to the chat. For example, Daly is a chef, and his special trick is the ability to cook without an oven. What will he use next - the dishwasher, the radiator of his car, a light bulb? Clever, imaginative stuff, frosting on the cake. (3) Every time you think the script is going someplace predictable, it flies off into a different and more honest direction. (4) The script does an absolutely beautiful job at tying the ends of its world together, not with absurd coincidences, but in logical links between the girlfriends caused by credible elements of Daly's own personality. (5) Good job at balancing sentiment, grief, and humor. That's not an easy thing to do.
Good performing as well. Some of these people are terrific at this light, sincere, sitcom banter. I thought Daly did great, even out-Hanksing Hanks, but my favorite was Melora Hardin as the most appealing of the girlfriends, an insomniac architect who writes songs and sings to herself when she can't sleep. And the girl can really sing. Daly also sings quietly, but effectively, in a brief duet. Other past flames include Olivia D'Abo, Mimi Rogers, Jami Gertz, Elizabeth Pena, and Katy Selverstone.
Passing comment - Daly is certainly a well-preserved specimen. He is 45, looks much younger. (He's playing a 36 year old in the film)
everything loops back to the funeral of the woman who
seems to have been his life's true love. His current
girlfriend, regretting their split, also shows up at the
funeral after chasing him through several past
relationships. I'm happy to say that absolutely nothing
turns out the way you expect it to. As a brief spoiler
example, when he goes to the coffin in a very tender
moment to tell the dead girl what he could never tell
her, it turns out not to be a tender moment, but comedy.
She talks back and explains that the only reason he feels
like he loves her is because she's dead, and it's always
a too-easy solution to love someone's memory. Meanwhile,
he's looking around at everyone else, wondering if they
can see and hear her. (Of course, all this only happened
in his mind). Then, he actually summons up the courage to
tell his current girlfriend the unpleasant truth even
though she's driven through hell and high water to find
him. Ultimatelu, he tries to move on to a more honest
It won't offer you profound revelations, but it's 90 minutes of damned good sitcom. Not the edgy type of sitcom, but the more sentimental type. You might say that this film is to Friends as Meet the Parents is to Seinfeld, and in fact the writer/director, Paul Lazarus, has directed just about every good sitcom in the past 15 years.
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