"Do you still have that disease where you finish each other's sentences?" someone asks of Jennifer and Kevin. Ever since Kevin moved into Jennifer's neighborhood back when they were both six, they've been inseparable best pals. Their friendship's stood the test of time, from childhood to college. Past that, it's even stood Kevin's sponging off Jennifer for the past seven years as her non-rent-paying roommate at the house she'd saved up for and purchased. Jennifer (Natalie Hall) works hard and has a thriving career to show for it. Conversely, Kevin (an impish Darin Brooks) is a slacker, and, perhaps someday, his caddying at the local golf course and designing of board games at home will pay off. But, no, don't hold your breath.
Here's the thing: Bryce, Jennifer's boyfriend of six months, has just proposed to her, and he means to move into her house right after the wedding. And Bryce cannot stand Kevin, thinks he's a parasite (okay, he's maybe not wrong). Jennifer has always had Kevin's back. She doesn't want to hurt her best friend by evicting him, but she's advised that maybe this is what Kevin needs so that he can finally stand on his own. Kevin, when told this, is aghast, horrified that he's being asked to move out but also that Jennifer actually agreed to marry Bryce, a corporate slimeball whom Kevin feels is absolutely wrong for her.
And when Kevin learns of Bryce's unfaithfulness, he jumps at an escape clause. His law student brother informs him that, legally, seven years of cohabitation makes Kevin and Jennifer common law spouses. So now see how quickly Kevin rolls with that. And now Jennifer is aghast. But Kevin has always been a quitter. How long can he maintain his stance? Especially since a furious Jennifer embarks on a mission to make him cave. She begins to parcel out daily lists of chores for which a husband would typically be responsible.
The Hallmark Channel produced another winning romantic comedy in THE SEVEN YEAR HITCH. It's a sweet film and pretty funny, if predictable. The premise is marvelously offbeat and farfetched. The two leads, Darin Brooks and Natalie Hall, are engaging and create some nice moments together. I like that the movie's opening sequence sets up their backstory, and so it really feels like there's a lived-in history between them. I wish, though, that Bryce the boyfriend (the appropriately named Ryan Doom) isn't depicted as such a coldly ambitious, two-timing asshat (this is established early in the film). It telegraphs Jennifer's inevitable choice. Too, I think the ending stretched a bit too far in its try to wrap things up too neatly (I refer to what happens with Jennifer's friend and also with Kevin's law school bro). But these are fairly minor quibbles. THE SEVEN YEAR HITCH is very watchable. It's fun watching Kevin evolve from slacker to Mr. Responsible. It's even more fun watching Jennifer's reaction to it. Still, the best bit in the movie? The Gilbert & Sullivan karaoke scene, of course.