Man must take a bride by 7 p.m. today or forego his inheritance. (Who comes up with these plots? Why does this trope resonate so much with audiences? Was this the first time it was done? Is The Bachelor starring Chris O’Donnell the MOST ’90s movie ever made? So many questions.)
I knew that Buster Keaton being chased down the street by a mob of brides was classic thing, imitated and referenced pretty much constantly since it first happened:
What I did not know is that the Buster Keaton chase actually goes on for nearly 14 minutes. Uphill and downhill. Over mountains and lakes. There are boulders. There are bees. It’s amazing.
The whole movie, by the way, is only 56 minutes long, so it’s more chase than anything else.
Unfortunately, several other precious minutes of film are dedicated to racism, including a major plot point dependent upon a servant–played painfully by a white actor in blackface–failing to deliver an important message in time and a couple of jokes that count on the audience recognizing interracial marriage as a hilarious absurdity. Nothing beyond what would probably be expected in a film of this era, I guess, but I wasn’t expecting it, and you need to know it’s there before you plunk your kids down in front of this one.
I’m not totally clear on what the eponymous “seven chances” were, but people, let this be a frickin’ lesson to you: if you are already with the person you want to be with, and marriage is important to you due to impending financial ruin (or other reasons!), don’t wait for their Great Dane puppy to grow to full size before you propose.