the remake of BEDAZZLED is no comic masterpiece,
which is too bad, because the original
Peter Cook-Dudley Moore movie was. So
why do this? Because sometimes writers
and directors casting about for material
hit upon the notion of updating a beloved
gem for modern audiences. Harold Ramis
sure has good taste, I’ll give him that.
always pleasant Brendan Fraser plays Elliott
Richards, a lonelyheart who spends his
days working customer service at yet another
high-tech company and his nights alone
and repining for a co-worker (O’Connor)
who is the girl of his dreams. Elliott
gets no respect. Snarky co-workers avoid
him or diss him. His nice-enough love
interest inadvertently tramples on his
achy breaky heart and embarrasses him
in a bar, whereupon he utters the catalytic
phrase: "I would give anything to
have that girl in my life!"
The Devil (Hurley) in a red dress, stage
right. Like all good pushers, she gives
Elliott a taste, which persuades him to
sign a contract with her — his soul for
you’ve seen the trailer, you have some
idea of how these wishes go horribly,
irritatingly, and frustratingly wrong.
You’ve also seen quite a bit of the first
15 minutes of the movie. You’ve also seen
most of the best of the movie. A lot of
the fun, of course, is introducing Hurley
and playing against the cloven-hoofed,
pointy-tailed archetype. There are mild
jollies to be had from seeing Fraser in
several different guises — some excellent
make-up work here — but the loopholes
The Devil uses in each scenario to keep
Elliott from earthly bliss are damned
predictable. Plus, we’re never shown enough
of O’Connor’s character to believe that
she’s worthy of Elliott’s adoration. Is
it because she can walk, smile, and toss
her hair in slo-mo? Is that it? Also note:
Some rather literal-minded casting, apparently
based on the premise that God must be
the polar opposite of The Devil.
not to say that I suffered through BEDAZZLED.
No, I laughed out loud at Team Ramis’
easy, cheap shots at athletes, Bob Costas,
the NY literary scene, and Sensitive New-Age
Guys. I’d have laughed even louder if
I’d had a few beers, which, come to think
on it, may have been the ideal state to
be in to see this movie. Regardless, I
woke up the day after viewing BEDAZZLED
with a sour taste in my mouth.
Bogucka, An Action Girl!