The cinema of the pandemic is taking many forms, and I think the long term effect on media is going to be an interesting one to pay attention to. The pandemic is going to touch every genre and it appears the next entry is the romantic comedy.
Beginning with an awkward first date, Ravi (Karan Soni) and Rita (Geraldine Viswanathan) appear to have nothing in common. The date is pleasant enough, but bells don’t exactly ring as they sit in the empty pond Ravi picked as a place for them to meet. The photo on Google is old, you see, and lush, but the realities of the California drought aren’t always reflected in Google searches.
It’s clear that the date is figuratively going nowhere, but as the afternoon draws to a close, their phones blow up, and it’s suddenly clear that they are literally going nowhere, too. With the lockdown in full swing, Ravi is forced to stay at Rita’s place for several days until he can get an Uber actually to pick him up. It becomes immediately clear that while Ravi is exactly the nervous, overthinking ball of anxiety he presents as, Rita is not the doting, vegetarian, traditional girl she presents herself as. As you might expect, hilarity ensues; dating profiles can be as deceiving as google searches.
The story takes cues from many places, perhaps most notably from The Big Sick, with an extended sequence involving Ravi getting to know Rita’s mother. However, there’s enough cultural difference with both characters bring Indian American that the film still feels unique and interesting and offering a different point of view on dating than you’ll get in a more everyday American film.
If there is anything to be disappointed with in 7 Days it’s that the main characters relationship takes the most predictable path. They come to care for one another, and after the titular week, they fall in love. On the other hand, Soni and Viswanathan are so charming together that it’s basically impossible not to root for them once the story gets going. Neither is exactly breaking the mould, but each of them is playing to their strengths, and that’s always fun to watch.
7 Days played as part of the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival
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