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Nashville Film Festival – 7 Days (2021) – Review – A Charming Romantic Comedy From Director/Writer Roshan Sethi

October 2, 2021

Quick Thoughts – Grade – B – 7 Days is a charming Covid-19 rom-com that features likable performances from Geraldine Viswanathan and Karan Soni

Thank you to the Nashville Film Festival for the press credentials, which allowed me to watch some excellent films. More reviews to come!

Directed/written by Roshan Sethi (who created The Resident), and starring Geraldine Viswanathan (Blockers, Miracle Workers) and Karan Soni (Deadpool 1 & 2, Miracle Workers, Safety Not Guaranteed), who also co-wrote the screenplay, 7 Days tells the story of two polar opposites stuck together during the outbreak of the recent pandemic. Sethi and Soni wrote the screenplay in less than a week, put up their own money, and two months later, shot the film in eight coffee-filled days. The end result is a charming rom-com that showcases what happens when filmmakers need to create during a global pandemic. Also, it’s not surprising to see that the Duplass brothers produced the film, as Soni had worked with Mark Duplass on Safety Not Guaranteed, and the mostly single location film shares similar DNA to prior Duplass projects.

What’s neat about 7 Days is how it leans into rom-com tropes, and still manages to stand out from its peers. The film combines polar opposites, an illness, and people stuck in a single location (due to the pandemic), but it’s arranged-date plot, and the likable leads elevate the familiar elements. The movie revolves around an arranged date between Ravi (Soni) and Rita (Viswanathan), two twenty-somethings who are wildly different, and know almost immediately that they are on different wavelengths. The awkwardly filmed date, which happens near what seems to be a retention pond, is a thing of legend as Ravi accidentally buys hard lemonade instead of lemonade, and he fumbles his way through a heat-soaked lunch while Rita looks on humorously.  

Things get more awkward when Ravi’s transportation is cancelled, and he has to wait several days to get a rental car that will drive him far away from Rita’s cluttered home that is loaded with beer bottles, ceramic horses, and an adorable and fluffy possum plush (I want one). While stuck together, Ravi, a vegetarian who doesn’t drink, and is comically uptight, eventually warms to Rita, who eats chicken wings, drinks loads of beer, and is seeing a married man who really doesn’t like it when she calls unexpectedly. It would be a shame to spoil the rest, just know that the rest of the movie features dancing, deep conversations, and believably dirty floors which are a credit to production designers Ashley and Megan Fenton (they also use duct tape creatively). 

The cinematography by Jeremy Mackie (who was the Gaffer on Green Room!) becomes much more confident as the film progresses, and he finds ways to make Rita’s apartment look interesting during the 86-minute running time. Also, the dedication of the actors is impressive, as Viswanathan had to do her own makeup (in 100+ degree heat), and learn ludicrous amounts of dialogue during the eight day shoot. In the end, 7 Days is worth a watch because it’s an obvious work of passion, and it’s neat seeing Viswanathan and Soni headline their own rom-com.

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