7 Days in Hell (2015)

7 Days in Hell (2015)

A balls-to-the-wall sports mockumentary with an unexpected scene-stealer

7.7

Movie

United States of America
English
Comedy, TV Movie
2015
JAKE SZYMANSKI
Andy Samberg, Chris Evert, Chris Romano
43 min

TLDR

A good movie to watch? Indubitably.

What it's about

The incredible story behind the longest match in (fictional) tennis history.

The take

You don’t have to have seen a single game of tennis to enjoy this mockumentary about the longest match that (n)ever took place in the sport’s history. Andy Samberg plays Aaron Williams, the mullet-sporting adopted brother of Serena and Venus (whose family “reverse Blind-Sided” him) made immortal by his record-smashing, week-long battle with posh, dim-witted English prodigy Charles Poole (Kit Harington) at Wimbledon. Things only get more riotously ridiculous from the premise: the team behind sports spoof Tour de Pharmacy chronicle the winding journeys the rivals took to that climactic seven-day showdown, from forays into the world of innovative underwear design to stints in Swedish jails, by way of a surreal tangent into the storied faux-history of courtroom sketch art. Suffice it to say: the tennis isn’t really the point here.

Real-life figures from the sport (including Serena Williams and John McEnroe) ground the spoof in enough reality to make the zany humor pop, with the comedy coming from a very game Fred Armisen, Michael Sheen, Lena Dunham, Will Forte, and Howie Mandel. With eccentric humor in spades — from the puerile to the surreal — and a lean runtime, 7 Days in Hell packs in as many dizzying jokes as Aaron and Charles do volleys in their absurd history-making rally.

What stands out

While the bulk of the cast were no stranger to comedy when this was made, Harington — then known as Game of Thrones’ very dour Jon Snow — stands out as an odd pick for something like this (even if, like Jon, Charles knows nothing). As the doltish tennis star, though, he proves himself a very able and willing butt of the joke, qualities that shine in the movie’s hilarious credits sequence, which has since been much-memed for posterity.

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