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Desert island frisk: Anne Heche and Harrison Ford in Six Days, Seven Nights

Six Days, Seven Nights

(12) 102 mins 73x“ >-‘*<

Audiences who sat through Harrison Ford's last foray into the romantic comedy field will be understandably wary of venturing so far off his well-beaten career track again. But where Sabrina singularly failed to measure up to a classier original, Ford's new film simply recalls the broad sweep of old-fashioned screwball comedies without setting itself up for direct comparison with any particular one.

Of course there is also a healthy dose of overt sex and a brief (quite funny) burst of bad language to establish this as a 905 film, but in all other respects it could have been Cary Grant and Carole Lombard in the roles played by Ford and Anne Heche. They are your typical mismatched movie couple: he a dissolute pilot, content with island-hopping jobs in the south Pacific, she a single-minded magazine editor who believes her life is totally together.

A sudden marriage proposal from her boyfriend (Friends star David Schwimmer) seems to cap a blissfully romantic holiday, but when Heche is called away on business, all sweet-natured thoughts are put on hold as she hires Ford to take her to a nearby island. However,

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One way love: Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd in The Object Of My Affection

when they fly through a violent storm and are forced to crash-land on a deserted beach, they come to terms with the terrible truth that they have to rely on each other to survive.

Spitting bitchy comments. and with a degree of knockabout humour to their early confrontations, Ford and Heche seem well at ease in their roles and make a winning screen couple. Schwimmer shines too, with a supporting performance that gives him laughs but little responsibility for the film as a whole.

That of course lies with Harrison Ford, who will be aware that his days as an action hero must be numbered, and is presumably weighing his options for sustaining his career at the top of the Hollywood tree. Six Days, Seven Nights might not answer all the questions about his romantic comedy pedigree - he is not yet a match for Cary Grant - but at least it shows a willingness on his part to try something different.

The film itself settles for easier comedic options, but should make an ideal date movie, offering light-hearted adventure and conjuring up a mood of romance before the house lights come up and audiences go to seek their thrills elsewhere. (Anwar Brett)

General release from Fri 3 Jul See feature.

Nina and George become increasingly Chummy. They take dance lessons together at an OAP community centre and learn to tango -— a prelude to some horizontal cha-cha-cha perhaps?

The Object Of My Affection doesn't, however, go in the direction you might expect. It plays against its genre by being more concerned wrth the pain of unrequrted love than with romantic fulfilment. Nina falls in love wrth George almost Without knowrng it herself, But what can you do, the film asks, when the object of your affection cannot return your desire?

Nicholas Hytner's third film as a

The Object Of My Affection (15) 111 mins a e

Makers of romantic comedies have usually been obliged to throw obstacles in the way of the hero and herome, impediments to stOp them falling in love or, at least, delay them getting into bed. Nowadays, most of the old contrivances are looking worn out or anachronistic, but The Object Of My Affection has found an interesting spin to give to the genre he's gay.

At a swanky Manhattan dinner party, first-grade teacher George (Paul Rudd) learns from a total stranger that his college professor lover is about to dump him. When his informant social worker Nina (Jennifer Aniston) turns out to be telling the truth (’I didn’t want to tell you this until you were ready,’ the departing bOyfriend finally admits), George accepts an invrtation to move into her Brooklyn apartment.

Despite the unease of Nina’s live-out bOyfriend, pushy left-Wing lawyer Vince (John Pankow), the menage works well.

director (followmg The Madness Of King George and The CruCib/e) casts an interesting light upon relationships in the 90s. It also boasts appealing performances by Aniston and Rudd, as well as enjoyable cameos from Nigel Hawthorne as a waspish theatre critic and Alan Alda as a shamelessly self- promoting publicist. But in the end there's a blandness about Hytner's treatment of his material that prevents the film from being truly successful. (Jason Best)

General release from Fri 26 Jun.

FILM new releases Mimic (18) 105 mins *vc ‘K Financed to the tune of $28 million by the genre-friendly but notoriously hands-on Dimension Films (Scream), Cronos director Gtiilleririo Del Toro's‘ first American movre manifests tell-tale signs of a long gestation and a difficult birth, That SO much of Del Toro's Vision has SurVived intact is a testament to his imagination and determination, but the mutations that the film underwent during scripting, shooting and editing have resulted in some uneven pacrng, occasional lapses of st0iytelling clarity, and a Curiously hybrid feel,

When a polio-like epideiriic threatens the lives of New York‘s children, entomologist Susan Tyler (Mira Sowino) and her husband, disease control expert Peter Mann (Jeremy Northam), create a genetically altered 'Judas Breed' that Will mate With and destroy the diseases main carrier, the humble cockroach. But the cocky sCientists have underestimated the insects' capaCIty for mutation and surVival and, a few years later, giant bugs that mimic homeless humans are breeding in the tunnels beneath New York.

Plunged into the bugs' subterranean habitat, Tyler and Mann are stalked by their own bastard ClCdllOfl. Also wandering the tunnels are other potential foodstuffs Mann's assistant Josh Brolin, transit cop Charles S. Dutton and an old shoe repair man (Giancarlo Giannini), who is looking for his lost autistic grandson. To avord the razor-sharp legs and bone-crushing mandibles of the voracious giant bugs, the human prey are forced in turn to mimic their insect predators, hiding and SCUttling abOut in the dark in order to survive.

Juxtaposing images of poetic beauty wrth scenes of stark terror, Del Toro doesn’t always dovetail the serious underlying allegory about the perils of genetic manipulation wrth the relentless, kinetic subterranean horror. DeSpite these structural weaknesses, Mimic demands to be seen on the big screen, if only to appreCiate the terrible beauty of the creature desrgns, the lustrous light and shadow of Dan Lausten's cinematography, and the unashamedly melodrarnatrc strains of Marco Beltrami’s score. (Nigel Floyd) tie General release from Fri 26 Jun.

Bugged out: Jeremy Northam and Mira Sorvino in Mimic

ZS Jun—9 Jul 1998 THE UST 27