Six Days, Seven Nights

* * 1/2*

It's a traditional setup: put a man and a woman who seemingly hate each other into isolation together and love will bloom. That's the tried-and-true setup of the new romantic adventure film Six Days, Seven Nights, which gets the setup right... but doesn't know what to do from there.

Robin Monroe (Anne Heche) is the busy New York editor at an upscale fashion magazine. She has little time for romance, but when her boyfriend Frank (David Schwimmer) invites her to a six-day, seven night stay at a South Pacific resort, she accepts...just as she does to his proposal for marriage.

When an emergency photo shoot in Tahiti beckons, Robin finds herself hiring the services of Quinn Harris (Harrison Ford), the only pilot on the island. However, a tropical storm forces their plane to crash, and Robin and Quinn find themselves stranded on a remote island with little hope of rescue.

Of course, the island is full of adventure. From wild animals to dangerous terrain to modern-day pirates, Robin and Quinn face danger at every turn. Will these dangers make them turn to one another?

Harrison Ford and Anne Heche actually make a convincing romantic couple. The actors do a good enough job to allow you to get lost in the characterization, and forget about the actors' personal lives. Neither character is written very deep, but both Ford and Heche play their roles with the appropriate combination of charm and likability.

On the supporting side, David Schwimmer is his traditional whiner...a role which is easier to take in these small doses. There to comfort him is Angelica (Jacqueline Obradors), island entertainer and Quinn's sometimes girlfriend. She doesn't have much to do beyond the bimbo role, which she fills nicely.

It seems as if director Ivan Reitman is shooting for a Romancing The Stone, or The African Queen sort of feel for the film. But, though the leads are appealing, he doesn't have the story to back it up.

Aside from the romance, there's actually very little for the characters to do. The film tries to address that by throwing nearly every shipwrecked-on-a-deserted-isle trick in the book at them (come on, pirates?), but every obstacle seems overly artificial.

In the end, Six Days, Seven Nights is enjoyable...though more for its romantic comedy elements than its sense of adventure.

[PG-13] (Caravan/Buena Vista)


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