The delightful “7 Days” is a sweet, funny look at relationships from a unique cultural perspective. This COVID-era movie makes a creative (and realistic) use of the lockdown, with a love story meet-cute that’s set during the early days of pandemic.
Ravi (Karan Soni) is facing unbearable pressure from his traditional Indian mother, who is pushing to discover a dream partner for her son. Uptight and nerdy, Ravi wants to find the ideal wife. He goes on an arranged date with Rita (Geraldine Viswanathan), a charismatic woman who could possibly be the one. Their awkward first date in the park ends with an unforeseen circumstance that forces them to live together in Rita’s apartment for a week. After a few hours, Ravi starts to discover that the presumably old fashioned, prim and proper Rita isn’t exactly as innocent as she has led everyone to believe.
It’s an adorable premise that’s plausible, too. The film is filled with charming humor and warmhearted, sweet comedy. On the surface, the story seems like it will be very one-note. But there’s a depth that comes from the details, bolstered by the natural rapport and chemistry between the two leads.
Soni is well cast as a weirdly charming, genuinely nice guy. As Ravi begins to see that he’s in way over his head, the terror kicks in. He’s afraid of Rita’s sexual experience and matter-of-fact forwardness, and her deception (and frankness) shocks him to his core. Viswanathan is also terrific, playing up the idea that she’s not the wife material Ravi thought she was, but also showing real emotion when her own mother snarks, “I hope you didn’t show him the real you.”
Odd couple situations are funny, but the film gives the classic premise a modern, diverse spin. There are jokes and situations that are specific to the Indian culture, yet also universal. The film starts off strong but stumbles a bit with its loose plot, and director Roshan Sethi adds filler scenes of unimportant dialogue that slows it down. But with its charismatic cast and characters, “7 Days” has a warmth that charms.