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Featured DVD Review: The Seven Year Hitch

March 3rd, 2013

The Seven Year Hitch - Buy from Amazon

The Seven Year Hitch is the latest Hallmark Channel original TV movie to land on my desk. I fully admit I'm not in the target audience of these movies, but I've reviewed so many of them in the past, that I think I can judge this film based on how well it works compared to the others. Is it a fun romantic comedy that is worth checking out? Or does it live down to the reputation of TV movies?

The Movie

The film focuses on two friends, Jennifer and Kevin (Darin Brooks), who met when they were six years when Kevin's family moved into Jennifer's neighborhood. It wasn't love at first sight, but they became fast friends and did everything together for years, including go to the same university. While Jennifer graduates along with her two friends Betsy (Noree Victoria) and Sally (Katy Stoll from I'm already glad I got a chance to review this movie.) Kevin flaked out on his final paper and drops out. With nowhere to go, Jennifer agrees to let Kevin stay at her place while he gets on his feet. She figures it shouldn't take too long.

Flash forward seven years and Jennifer has become a successful businesswoman working towards an important promotion, while Kevin is still underemployed and living rent free in her house. Jennifer has a serious boyfriend, Bryce (Ryan Doom), who isn't a big fan of Kevin and thinks its time Jennifer gave him the boot. Jennifer is waiting for Kevin to have his big break (he designs board games in his spare time), but Bryce thinks she's being a crutch, which is hurting Kevin more than it is helping him. That's not actually bad advice (advice she also gets from Sally), but he does have ulterior motives here, as he just wants Kevin out of the picture. When Bryce's boss, Mrs. Von Hoffman, implies he needs to be a steady family man to get a promotion, and that means being married and not cheating on his girlfriend, he decides to propose to Jennifer. Of course, Jennifer doesn't know about Von Hoffman's talk about the promotion, and of course she doesn't know about Bryce's cheating, so she says yes.

When Kevin learns Bryce proposed to Jennifer, and that Jennifer said yes, Kevin doesn't take it too well for a number of reasons. Firstly, he doesn't think Bryce is right for Jennifer and that Jennifer is rushing into things. Also, if Jennifer gets married, he's going to have to move out and get a real job. When he sees Bryce cheating on Jennifer, he's even more determined to break them up so that Jennifer is spared a lifetime of living with an unfaithful husband. He tries telling Jennifer what he saw, but she doesn't believe him. She thinks he's just trying to sabotage her relationship so that he won't have to move out. Plan B is a little out there. He decides that he and Jennifer are already married. They've been living together for seven years, so according to the law, they are common law married.

Jennifer is not pleased with this turn of events and the friendship is on the rocks. However, Kevin is determined to prove to Jennifer that he can be the perfect husband. Meanwhile, Sally, who is acting as Jennifer's lawyer, says the only way to end this common quickly is to get Kevin to sign a release of the common law marriage. To do that, she will have to show Kevin how hard it will be to be a real husband. Now it is a matter of which side will snap first.

Like all romantic comedies, The Seven Year Hitch is rather predictable. This is not an issue for fans of the genre, as long as the two leads have good chemistry together and there's enough cute and funny moments. Sadly, this film does not have enough of any of that. I didn't really buy the friendship between Jennifer and Kevin, so I really didn't believe their romance. So the romance doesn't work and there's not enough comedy to compensate, as the main hook, the common law marriage, never felt organic and instead felt like a cheap gimmick. I did like seeing Katy Stoll in the movie, and some of the side characters are played by really good actors (Frances Fisher, Gedde Watanabe, and George Wendt). That's not enough to recommend the movie.

The Extras

There are no extras on the DVD.

The Verdict

The Seven Year Hitch is a romantic comedy where I didn't buy the romance and didn't laugh enough at the comedy. Add in no extras on the DVD and unless you are a really big fan of Hallmark Channel original TV movies, you can give this one a pass.

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Filed under: Video Review, Frances Fisher, Gedde Watanabe, George Wendt, Natalie Hall