Rated PG-13 - Running time: 1:40 - Released 6/12/98

Harrison Ford and Anne Heche team up with moderate success for this action comedy/drama about two strangers who get shipwrecked on a deserted island. Written by Michael Browning and directed by Ivan Reitman, Six Days, Seven Nights is entertaining (albeit shallow in points), and though there is little chemistry between Ford and Heche, their acting is engaging enough to make us care what happens to them.

Heche is Robin Monroe, a highly-placed assistant editor for a trendy women's magazine called Dazzle. Her boyfriend Frank (David Schwimmer) surprises her with a romantic week's vacation for two on a tropical island near Tahiti. The last leg of their trip is aboard a small, four-seater airplane flown by Quinn Harris (Ford), who brings along his fabulous babe island girl Angelica (Jacqueline Obradors). Soon after they arrive, Frank proposes, and the vacation is off to a pleasant start.

Unfortunately, Robin is too valuable an employee: she is needed for a quick photo shoot on Tahiti; though her boss is apologetic about disrupting her vacation, she promises to make it worth Robin's while. So she grudgingly tracks down Quinn to fly her back to Tahiti for 15 hours so she can manage the shoot. He agrees (for $700); though the weather is bad, he thinks he can make it. But on the way the weather gets worse. There is a very impressive effects scene of the small plane flying through an electrical storm, with Robin popping Xanax to calm down and Quinn making the exact same face he did when the Millenium Falcon failed to make the jump to hyperspace. Finally they crash on a tiny deserted island, breaking off the plane's landing gear in the process.

While they await help, Frank is enjoying the night life back at the resort, getting seriously aroused by the belly dancers and tropical women in general. When he gets a call from Robin's boss asking why she never showed up, everyone realizes they must have crashed, and he and Angelica are so distraught they sleep together. Meanwhile Quinn and Robin, who apparently doesn't own a bra, have all sorts of misadventures together, forming a bond that only a life-and-death situation can.

This movie isn't going to win any awards, but Heche and Ford give enjoyable performances. The cinematography is beautiful; the location (Hawaii) can't help but give an adventurous, Treasure Island-ish feel to the proceedings. There are a few holes in the plot (Robin is surprisingly used to island camping for a NYC exec, and she also seems to have packed a week's worth of clothes for this 15-hour side trip). Ford's performance seems phoned in, but his role doesn't call for anything that we haven't seen him do a hundred times. Schwimmer is little more than background decoration. All in all, not a masterpiece, but a fun movie nonetheless. ***½

Copyright 1998 by John R. McEwen and The Republican

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