When Varon (Kenny Young) gets an urgent call from a local clinic, this no-budget film seems headed toward social-problem drama. One of the formerly promiscuous young Chicagoan’s erstwhile sex partners is HIV-positive and has given Varon’s name to the clinic’s partner-notification program. After some denial and resistance, Varon goes in for an AIDS test, the results of which will arrive in a week. That time frame happens to be the same as the one for Varon’s wedding to upright Kiya (Saadiqa Muhammad), who knows little about her fiance’s wilder previous escapades. Then Varon’s happily unemployed, video-game-playing buddy Tyco (Eric Lane)—who’s turned a temporary crash on Varon’s sofa into a permanent arrangement—also gets a call from the clinic, and the movie briefly becomes a detective yarn while the two friends go looking for the woman who gave their names to the caseworker. Soon, however, the scenario shifts to everyday-life horror story as Varon loses everything that’s important to him. Just when circumstances have become suicidally grim, however, director Carl Seaton abruptly resets the controls for uplift. A hit at various film festivals and on BET, One Week depicts an all-black demimonde and doesn’t stoop to the broadest possible gags. Scripters Seaton and Young originally wrote the film as a comedy but later decided the subject required more seriousness. The result, although well-meaning, is a muddle of genres and messages and something of a cop-out. After wrecking Varon’s life, the movie ends with a hopeful montage that’s about as plausible as Tyco’s taking a break from video-gaming to discover an AIDS vaccine. —Mark Jenkins