Overshadowed by the genre giants of the era, Seven Minutes in Heaven is a gem of a teen movie that does quite a lot of things in a more to the point, honest way than many of its contemporary rivals.
The beauty of the movie is how well it levels with its subjects and manages to encapsulate that awfully wonderful feeling of being a 15-year old – at least as closely as I remember it.
Natalie is a grade A student whose big plans for the future get complicated by an unrequited crush. To complicate things further, her buddy Jeff decides to seek refuge from her house despite her opposition, as he doesn’t really get along with his stepfather. Lastly, there’s Polly who’s hellbent to lose her virginity and ready to fall in love with the right person, which in her case means pretty much anyone who crosses paths with her. The dramatic elements here seem subtle, but as the director Linda Feferman realises, for these kids these issues are life changing, and thanks to her evident affection towards her characters she manages to convey that same sentiment to the viewer while avoiding the pitfall of being patronising or condescending.
Although the movie does sidetrack a little towards the end, it wraps up nicely again in the end with a small, subtle finale true to the very spirit of the story.