Tennis can be fun. I once had the opportunity to watch a proper grand slam match live and it was thrilling stuff. Then again, nearly all sport is great if you watch it with a lively crowd and plenty of beer.
Beyond that, though, and it is a sport with charms that mostly elude me. Maybe the matches are just too long. Well, perhaps 7 Days In Hell can change that perception. At just 45 minutes long it will be a breezy tour de force of tennis comedy.
The HBO-produced mockumentory stars Andy Samberg and Kit Harington as two rival tennis players who meet at the final of a great tournament, presumably Wimbledon. The movie chronicles their 7-day long match, spliced with interviews, background story and plenty of gags. Yup, this is a comedy – a farce of the game. If Samberg’s crazy Eighties Andre Agassi hair doesn’t convince you, this trailer will:
Here’s the synopsis:
This 45-minute comedy special brings together Andy Samberg and Kit Harington for a star-studded look at big-time tennis. The outrageous sports documentary takes a look back at a pair of fictional players from the not-too-distant past — Aaron Williams (Samberg) and Charles Poole (Harington) — who played a match to end all tennis matches: a seven-day, five-set marathon that took everything, literally, out of the two.
In addition to highlights (and lowlights) from the match, ‘7 Days in Hell’ looks back at the lives and careers of Williams, a hyper-malcontent, and Poole, a dim-witted prodigy who carried England’s hopes for a tennis champion on his shoulders. Coloring the backstory of these faux-superstars are a parade of well-known guest stars including Michael Sheen, Mary Steenburgen, Karen Gillan, Will Forte, Fred Armisen, Lena Dunham, David Copperfield, June Squibb, John McEnroe, Chris Evert and Serena Williams, portraying Aaron’s adoptive sister.
As the trailer shows, there are plenty of tennis star cameos, plus a whole bunch of comedy actors I have never heard of. You probably do, but I’m striking a blank here. Or is that a love?
This looks…. garish. That could be a good thing – OTT comedy is pretty much Samberg’s thing, be it Lonely Island or Brooklyn 99. But the real gem may be Harington’s dim-witted prodigy – other than his plodding around in Game of Thrones, I’ve only seen Harington in Seventh Son – and he had a mercifully short and small role in it (merciful because it is a really awful movie). Does he have the chops for comedy, Samberg-style? Sadly the trailer hardly features him at all, but that may just be to market the project on Samberg’s fame.
Keep an eye out for this in mid-July, streaming from HBO.
Meanwhile, here’s Samberg made up as a bunch of different tennis stars.
Last Updated: June 23, 2015