Seven Minutes in Heaven
Jennifer Connelly, Byron Thames, Maddie Corman, Alan Boyce, Michael Zaslow, Polly Draper, Marshall Bell, Billy Wirth, Terry Kinney, Spalding Gray, Michael Higgins, Denny Dillon, Lauren Holly Update Cast
See Lauren Holly before they were famous!
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If you expect this film to be of Oscar-caliber or extremely sexual like other teen movies like Fast Times or even Sixteen Candles, you will have been sadly misguided and confused. But the movie is worth seeing if you just canít get enough of 80s teen romance or love the work of Jennifer Connelly.
At times, the acting is a bit melodramatic, the storyline is weak and oversimplified, and the dialogue is corny but there are some great moments and the movie serves as a time capsule for 80s adolescent life. Just donít watch it for great cinematic effects or poignant, brilliant musicóyouíll be extremely disappointed.
I give this movie a 7 out of 10 for its refreshing, non-John Hughes quality (though he is a great director!).
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Seven Minutes in Heaven is one of those movies no one remembers at the time of its theatrical release, but seems to have gained new life through repeated airings on HBO through out the late 80s and early 90s.
At least, thatís where I remember it from.
Now that itís harder and harder to find on Blockbuster shelves, people seem to have forgotten about it altogether. Thatís too bad since itís really one of my favorite childhood memories and actually worth watching when John Hughes gets to be overplayed and your 80s-teen-melodrama-thirst just needs to be quenched.
Unfortunately, the title seems a little out of place; there are really no raucous parties or closet-kissing in the movie. The film actually plays out like a much better written and less moralistic after-school special.
The movie is centered on a trio of friends, good-girl and future politician Natalie Becker (played very nicely by now Oscar-respected actress Jennifer Connelly, who would go on to star in "Labyrinth"), crazy and can-we-say-horny Polly Franklin (Maddie Corman) and the misguided and inexperienced Jeff Moran (played by Byron Thames who is really reminiscent of a 80s Jake Gyllenhaal). All three are fifteen year olds struggling with hormones, high school rumors, dysfunctional families and each otherís evolving friendships.
In the movie, Natalieís father is leaving town and the house to his supposed trustworthy daughter who has also been accepted to go on an once-in-a-lifetime fieldtrip to Washington D.C. with her class. Natalie is obviously an only child and motherless (that perfect goodie goodie clichť) and in love with older classmate Casey who is only into her for her classic looks and the possibility of ďscoring.Ē
Meanwhile, Jeff has just had a falling out with his mother and overbearing stepfather. He persuades Natalie to let him stay with her until he can figure out what to do. Predictably, this causes numerous rumors at school and one of the funniest scenes in the movieówhen both Natalie and Jeff are called into the school counselorís office and asked to interpret black and white photographs.
Their other friend, poor and extremely misguided Polly falls in love with fictional pro baseball player and underwear model Zoo Knudsen (Billy Wirth), not knowing that Jeff is secretly into her. After a mix-up at a lingerie store (um, one of the most awkward and cheesy moments in teen movie history), Polly ends up making out with Knudsen in his car and unfortunately, falling in love. This leads to a trip to NY where surprisingly Polly makes it safely and still virginal back to Ohio.
By the end of the film, all three storylines with their petty but very realistically teenage problems have been somewhat resolved (ok, maybe the whole Zoo Knudsen scenario wasnít all that realistic :). The movie ends on a high, albeit cheesy, note as Natalie, Polly and Jeff roller-skate off into the horizon to the sound of some nonsensical, but catchy pop song.
What more could you want from an 80s teen romance???
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