MOVIE: Seven and a Match (2001)

I fully expected to hate this movie, which sounded to me like a bad Generation Y rip-off of The Big Chill. But, while that’s not really too far off in terms of a description, I ended up finding this movie pretty enjoyable nonetheless.  It’s extremely funny (at times), incredibly sweet (at times), and even though I couldn’t relate that much to the characters (more on this in a bit), I still found myself immersing into their lives. 

The central character of this movie is Ellie (Tina Holmes), who has invited a group of her old college buddies back to the Connecticut house where they all spent a summer together when they were still in school. One of the first things Ellie tells them when they arrive is that the bank is about to foreclose on the house — it’s been in her family for generations, but her parents were recently killed in a car accident, leaving her saddled with debt and unable to make the payments. After letting that sink in for a bit, Ellie goes on to reveal the reason she’s actually invited them all over — she’s hoping they’ll agree to help her burn the house down so she can use all of them as an alibi. If all seven of them say it was an accidental fire, surely the police will believe them, right? And then Ellie will get the insurance on the house and be able to start over somewhere else.

But as the weekend goes on, the group finds they aren’t nearly as close as they thought they were. Old rivalries respark, as do old romances. And even though the weekend ends up being one of spats, awkward moments, and way too many things said and done while intoxicated, by Monday morning, every one of their lives has changed for the better.

At first, each of the characters seemed like a stereotype (something also true of The Big Chill, of course). There’s the actor/cad (Eion Bailey), the slut (Heather Donahue, from The Blair Witch Project), the prude (Petra Wright), the gay guy in love with his straight male friend (Adam Scott), and the awkward, shy guy in unrequited love with the damaged girl (Daniel Sauli and Tina Holmes). Yet, as the movie progresses, things are revealed about each character that changes them from their predetermined “type” into something a lot richer.  Not only did I appreciate that, but I’ll also confess that I laughed out loud a number of times during this movie, which definitely has its moments when it comes to sarcastic or witty dialogue.

When I first started watching, by the way, I thought it might be The Big Chillfor MY generation.  But, just basing this on stereotypes about generations, it soon became clear that it was really about Generation Y.  How could I tell?  Because almost every one of the characters in this movie talks about either still living with their parents, or planning to go home to live with them for a little while for emotional or financial reasons.  Ellie’s problems all stem from her no longer having her parents to rely on, as well.  That’s Gen-Y, of course, notorious for refusing to leave the nest.  We Gen-Xers couldn’t wait to get the hell out so we could mope around and sigh melodramatically in peace. 

In any case, for that reason as well as a few more minor ones, I found it a little hard to relate to the characters (get jobs, already, ya losers!).  But it definitely didn’t get in the way of my enjoying the film, or in my way of enjoying the characters, for that matter.  (Helped that they were mostly cute boys, of course!)

All in all, this is a very well-done indie film that attempts to capture a snapshot of life for a group of twenty-somethings whose lives aren’t going quite the way they thought they would. It’s not that original a concept, and yet this movie never once felt stale to me. It’s got a lot of heart and is helmed by a group of talented actors — for that alone, I’d say it’s definitely worth a rental.

[Netflix me | Buy me]

Genre: Drama
Cast: Eion Bailey, Heather Donahue, Devon Gummersall, Adam Scott, Petra Wright, Tina Holmes

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12 Responses to “MOVIE: Seven and a Match (2001)”

  1. Lorraine Says:

    Meg – you listed Devon Gummersall in the cast but you don’t have anything about him in the writeup. How big of a part does he have? I’m a big Brian Krakow fan and would rent the movie just for him if his part is big enough. That final scene about “the letter” in MSCL is great.

  2. megwood Says:

    He has a fairly good-sized role — he plays an outsider (the new boyfriend of one of the old gang), but ends up having a pretty integral part in the story. You also get to see his naked butt, if I remember correctly. That’s not worth nuthin’. 😉

    If you’re a Krakow fan, I think you’ll like him a lot in this movie. He plays a somewhat similar character — his girlfriend is still carrying a torch for Eion Bailey (not that I blame her for that — I still carry a torch for Eion Bailey myself, after all), so he sort of fights for her for a while and then finally throws in the towel. Sad, dejected guy, you know? Very cute.

  3. Alisa Says:

    So Meg, I’m going to add this to my Netflix que. Lets see if we agree. LOL

  4. Lorraine Says:

    Thanks Meg. I’m going to give it a try. I looked up Eion Bailey because the name sounded familiar. He recently had a recurring role on ER and I remember him having very nice eyes.

  5. megwood Says:

    Yes, lovely eyes on Eion! He had a great beard on ER, too. He was also in Band of Brothers, and was a Boyfriend of the Week (http://megwood.com/archive/eionbaileyf.html) as well.

    Cuuuuuute!

  6. Lorraine Says:

    OK, so I just watched this movie and found it quirky and very indie. I like watching indie movies because they are often unpolished which somehow makes them more “real”. The word that kept popping into my head was awkward. The script and the acting were sometimes awkward but it kind of worked for this movie.

    I thought the characters were often too quirky but I found Peter (the gay guy) endearing. (Sorry for describing him that way but it was his main identification in the movie.) He was correct that Sid (Eion Bailey) was flirting with him. But, they shared what may have been the hottest scene in the movie.

    I also liked Matthew (Devon Gummersall) and Ellie and found them very relatable.

    Oh, and I don’t know how anyone slept at night after Ellie told them that she wanted to burn the place down 😉 Meg – thanks for bringing this movie to my attention.

  7. megwood Says:

    Sweet, Lorraine! Thanks for coming back to leave your feedback on the movie here! Glad you enjoyed it!

  8. alisa Says:

    Meg – Have you had a chance to watch Nerverwas yet?

  9. megwood Says:

    You’ll know I’ve seen it when I post a review of it! 🙂

  10. alisa Says:

    Sorry, long day, should have known 😦

    LMFAO!!!

  11. megwood Says:

    Hee, Alisa, you crack me up, toots! 🙂

  12. Sarah Says:

    I thought this movie was filmed beautifully. Dialogue was real, and the end although depressing, thats life!

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