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BEDAZZLED (PG-13)
20th Century Fox
Official Site


Director: Harold Ramis

Producers: Trevor Albert, Suzanne Herrington, Neil A. Machlis, Harold Ramis

Written by: (1967 version) Peter Cook, Dudley Moore; (2000 version) Larry Gelbart, Harold Ramis, Peter Tolan

Cast: Brendan Fraser, Elizabeth Hurley, Frances O’Connor, Orlando Jones

Rating: **.5 out of 5

Well, 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.

The 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!"

Enter 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 seven wishes.

If 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.

That’s 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.

—Roxanne Bogucka, An Action Girl!


HYBRID Ratings Guide:

***** Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.

**** It’s worth a full-price ticket.

*** It’s worth a matinee ticket.

** Wait for video rental.

* Check out the video from the library, if you must.

0 While I would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...



Mike Doughty



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