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Columbia TriStar Home Video presents
Lucky Seven (2003)

"I'll tell you what. I'll make you some guidelines. So if you ever don't know what to do, and Daddy doesn't know what to do either, I'll still be there to hold your hand."
- Rachel Myer (Gail O'Grady)

Review By: David Krauss   
Published: February 02, 2004

Stars: Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Patrick Dempsey, Brad Rowe, Gail O'Grady
Director: Harry Winer

Manufacturer: DVSS
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for some sexual content
Run Time: 01h:29m:41s
Release Date: February 03, 2004
UPC: 043396030909
Genre: romantic comedy


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
B C+A-B+ C

DVD Review

Talk about a chick flick. Ladies considering hormone replacement therapy should forego the expensive treatment and pop Lucky Seven into the disc tray instead. This estrogen-infused, made-for-TV romantic comedy will certainly charm lovelorn females (and send anyone with a Y chromosome screaming from the room), but beware its dangerous side effects. The film's cloying sugar coating just might send its viewers into severe insulin shock.

Lucky Seven sure is sweet, and although its premise shows promise, the joke quickly wears thin, and Harry Winer's film winds up a carbon copy of more polished comedic efforts. The plot may be different, but the treatment and mechanics shamelessly mimic Sweet Home Alabama, right down to the casting of Patrick Dempsey as one of the love interests. Yet Lucky Seven lacks the same sassy edge, wallowing instead in saccharine sentiment that's only occasionally diluted by a few mildly amusing situations. Kimberly Williams-Paisley (of Father of the Bride and TV's According to Jim) tries awful hard, but can't compete with Reese Witherspoon in the perky, adorable category; she mugs with enthusiasm, but never musters the same madcap lunacy Witherspoon—and screen legends Carole Lombard and Irene Dunne—naturally bring to their comedic roles.

Lucky Seven has nothing to do with Vegas or gambling, unless, like Amy Myer (Williams-Paisley), you consider romance a numbers game. When Amy was a child, her cancer-stricken mother (Gail O'Grady) drew up a life plan for her daughter, which Amy has dutifully and maniacally followed since her mom's death. It included summer camp, college, travel abroad, law school, and a logical progression of boyfriends designed to provide Amy with a breadth of romantic experience. After six relationships, her mother predicted, Amy would be ready to meet "lucky seven"—the man of her dreams.

Amy, however, becomes convinced that boyfriend number six— hunky, successful, and meltingly warm Daniel (Brad Rowe)—is the indisputable Mr. Right. Afraid of veering from her mother's timeline, the anal retentive Amy flies into a panic, and decides to quickly date and dump another man, bagel store owner Peter Connor (Dempsey), so Daniel can be her true "lucky seven." Peter invites her to a friend's wedding, and during the course of the whirlwind weekend, her burgeoning affection for him makes Amy wonder whether following her mother's plan has been a lifelong mistake.

While some may find it funny to watch a confident, intelligent woman become unhinged at the hands of love, screenwriter Jessica Barondes takes the gimmick a step too far, turning Amy into a blithering idiot who can't see the forest for the trees. Although we empathize with her reluctance to sever this final connection with her dead mother and kiss her childhood goodbye, after a while her whiny indecision becomes tiresome and annoying. It's too bad Cher couldn't pop in for a guest appearance and give Amy what she really needs—a crisp slap in the face with the accompanying Moonstruck reproach, "Snap out of it!!!"

Lucky Seven strives to be hip and contemporary by adopting the new trend in romantic comedy (which also debuted in Sweet Home Alabama) that features two likeable, handsome, and kind-hearted men vying for the dizzy heroine's affections. In the past, audiences knew long before the leading lady that one of her potential mates possessed unsavory qualities, making her ultimate choice a no-brainer. In the new millennium, however, men are more sensitive, and, in a cruel twist of fate, the woman risks being perceived as a selfish bitch for stringing along two good guys and breaking one's heart at the climax. In Lucky Seven, the risk is magnified, because Amy's dilemma is based on such a flimsy idea. It's nice to see a woman steer her own romantic destiny, but Amy sacrifices her empowerment by using the timeline as a crutch.

I know, I know, it's only a romantic comedy (and a TV one at that), but romance shouldn't be immune to truth. Despite its clever premise, Lucky Seven rarely rings true where love is concerned. The drawn-out journey leads to a predictable outcome, and the clichéd follow-your-heart message is lame even by chick flick standards. You ladies deserve better.

Rating for Style: B
Rating for Substance: C+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.78:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: Lucky Seven has been blessed with a spiffy anamorphic widescreen transfer—quite a coup for a mainstream television movie. Although the slightly soft image betrays the film's TV roots, nary a speck of dust or grit mars the silky smooth presentation. Colors are nicely saturated (especially a vibrant red dress worn by Williams-Paisley) and fleshtones remain accurate. If only all made-for-television movies could look this good on DVD...

Image Transfer Grade: A-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: The stereo surround track wisely highlights the dialogue, which remains easily comprehendible throughout. Mild directionality can be detected across the front speakers, but the audio doesn't provide enough presence or depth to simulate surround envelopment. Considering the film's TV heritage, this is a better than average effort.

Audio Transfer Grade: B+

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 28 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English with remote access
5 Other Trailer(s) featuring I Capture the Castle, The Secret Lives of Dentists, Mambo Italiano, I'm With Lucy, Once Upon A Time in the Midlands
1 Featurette(s)
Weblink/DVD-ROM Material
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: Fans of the movie will appreciate The Making of Lucky Seven, which—coincidentally or not—runs just over seven minutes. This standard featurette focuses on screenwriter Barones, who provides background on the characters, and discusses both her love of coming-of-age stories and her commitment to positive, uplifting themes. Director Winer admits he's "a sucker for romance" and often tried to downplay the story's comic aspects in favor of romantic drama. A few behind-the-scenes glimpses and loads of film clips help flesh out this puffy but painless piece.

Five trailers for other Columbia releases round out the supplements.

Extras Grade: C

 

Final Comments

Lucky Seven doesn't exactly roll snake eyes, but it's far from a royal flush. The ditzy heroine will frustrate even the most ardent romantic, but the mature performance by Patrick Dempsey helps salvage the thin plot. If you're looking for a cozy date flick, bypass this big screen wannabe and rent Sweet Home Alabama instead.

 


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