Six Days Seven Nights (1998) Directed by Ivan Reitman: a jpoc movie review
Harrison Ford fans will not be disappointed.
Rating and viewing notes
Four out of ten.
I first watched this on VHS tape purchased in the bargain bin at HMV in Cambridge.
This film is clearly a cross between The African Queen and something else but, while the something else could be any one of dozens of films, the Bogart & Hepburn classic was clearly the source for the setting and characters.
The aim of the plot is to arrange for Ford and Heche to be isolated in a semi hostile environment where Ford's earthy get-it-done character can slowly chip away at the revulsion of Heche's sophisticated newly engaged big city girl.
Harrison Ford plays Quinn Harris a pilot in the mould of Antoine de Saint Exupery plying the islands in the South Seas. He picks up a charter to fly Robin Monroe from her holiday idyll to a meeting in Tahiti. Robin is sad to be leaving her fiancee Frank (Shwimmer) behind on the island. Quinn is not sad to be leaving his voluptuous assistant Angelica (Obradors) as he has been hitting on Robin during her holiday.
So, Quinn and Robin fly off to Tahiti but, en route, they encounter a storm and, with the aircraft damaged by a lightning strike, they make a forced landing on an otherwise deserted island. Then they have to survive the snakes and earth tremors, dodge the pirates, repair the aircraft with bits rescued from a crashed Japanese WWII fighter and make a daring escape in order that they can return to civilisation and fall in love properly.
OK, it is not much of a plot but then "The African Queen" had little plot and that became a classic because of the interaction between Bogart and Hepburn. So, how do Ford and Heche do?
Harrison Ford does very well indeed. It helps that he has a real "Harrison Ford" character and script. Quinn has just the right mix of faults and redeeming attributes to be believable and likeable. Ford acts just as well as always when given a sympathetic character and the script really gives him the chance to shine.
If Ford gets close to Bogart level as Quinn, Heche is some way short of Hepburn as Robin. The character comes over as shallow and uninteresting and not particularly likeable. In part that is the nature of the character and the opportunities afforded by the script, but it is also the way that Heche and her director interpret the character.
Shwimmer and Obradors have minor characters who exist merely to enable the plot. The roles are not very demanding and the acting is not that good.
So, the movie mostly depends on the strength of Harrison Ford and he does the job. The film is worth watching for his performance alone.