8 Days a Week (1997) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Writer/director Mike Davis has a specialty story, and it goes like this: the sincere, articulate, and sensitive but insecure guy pursues true love with the incredibly hot girl of his dreams, who is also his soul mate. His idealism is contrasted to the carnal appetites of a best friend who denies the existence of true love and lives only to pursue the perfect orgasm. The dream-girl is very sweet, but she's currently overlooking our nerdy hero to pursue a relationship with a shallow but studly asshole. Our hero is undeterred by the competition, and undistracted by obstacles and temptations. It is true love, after all, so he is completely steadfast in his pursuit, for nothing can prevent him from winning his true love's hand.

Throughout his career, Davis has worked that premise from several different angles. It is the basic idea behind 100 Girls, 100 Women, 8 Days a Week, and even his innovative gore comedy Monster Man.

In this particular version, Peter, our quixotic hero, spends the entire summer camped on the front lawn of his neighbor, Erica. She had been Peter's best friend since childhood but takes no notice of him recently, at least since she grew up into a major babe and started to notice football players. Peter didn't plan to do anything so dramatic as his sit-in, but he was persuaded to do so by a story from his grandfather. It seems that back in Italy their mutual ancestor was not noticed by his own true love, so he decided to stand under her balcony until she came down and loved him back. He did and she did. The scene in 19th century Italy was shown in sepia tone, with the lovers played by the same two actors.

(If you hadn't already noticed, the Italian balcony story is a tribute to the film classic Cinema Paradiso. The author is obviously a major film fan, and sprinkles this story with cute references to several films. You musn't miss Peter's dowdy parents acting out the door-smashing scene from Body Heat.)

The dream girl does not respond to Peter's attentions quite so quickly in 1997 as the look-alike dream woman did in the Italian flashbacks. In fact, as you might expect, Erica finds his stalking to be flattering, but also slightly creepy to the point that, were he not a lifelong friend, she'd probably be calling the police. Her parents don't mind at all, however, since they like sweet, comfortable Peter much better than the creepy football player with the hot car. Peter's horny friend informs him quite correctly that no guy has ever been able to woo a hot babe if her parents like him, so he concocts a plan to defy her religious parents and cause Erica to see him in a different light.


  • Keri Russell shows her breasts in a pre-sex scene
  • She also spends a lot of time playing in a sprinkler braless while wearing a white t-shirt. VERY hot.
  • Catherine Hicks shows her areolae.

While he bivouacs on her front lawn, he has a chance to observe the comings and goings of everyone in the neighborhood. Since he has too much time to kill, he forms some mistaken impressions of his neighbors' activities, often imputing malicious intent where it may not be warranted, as if he were in Rear Window. Peter's runaway imagination gives the author a chance to make some funny and rich observations about the difference between appearances and reality, but the most important thing about this device is that it allows Peter to learn that people are far more complex and wonderful than they seem on the surface.

As time goes on, Erica starts to talk to Peter, they bond, and  ... well, it doesn't matter, does it? You know how these nerd-pursues-babe stories are going to end (except maybe for The Last American Virgin), so the important thing for you to know is whether the situations, observations, and jokes make it worth getting there.

In this case, they do.

Region 2 info from Amazon UK

  • not available in North America

  • no features

  • widescreen, but letterboxed

  • uninspired transfer

I like this film, always have. It shows a lot of genuine wit, a true understanding of the uneasy balance between idealism and raging hormones in adolescence, and an embracing compassion for its characters, even some minor ones. Keri Russell is drop dead gorgeous. Mike Davis writes some intelligent and witty observations which come through in the dialogue and in the hero's voice-overs. If the film has a glaring weakness, it is that the observational humor is sometimes too sophisticated for the (presumed young) target audience. Now that I think about it, its basically a film for very smart adolescents, or for overgrown adolescents like me.

Be that as it may, I recommend it. If you like raunchy and/or heartfelt coming-of-age comedies; if you enjoyed American Pie, "The Wonder Years", and "Pete and Pete"; you should rent this, because it may be the best of its kind that you have not seen.

The Critics Vote ...

The People Vote ...

  • It was basically straight to video. It played nine theaters in 1999, grossing $26,000.
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, this is a C+. Top-notch coming of age story. Funny, sexy, raunchy, and sweet.

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