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Bedazzled
2002 - PG-13 - 93 Mins.
Director: Harold Ramis
Producer: Trevor Albert
Written By: Larry Gelbart
Starring: Brendan Fraser Elizabeth Hurley Frances O'Connor Miriam Shor Orlando Jones
Review by: Greg Ursic
   
Wealth. Power. Admiration. They all sound pretty enticing and many people spend their entire lives in pursuit of these or similar goals, and are willing to sacrifice anything and everything in the process. But what if there was an easy way to fame and fortune, say, selling your soul? It’s not like you’d miss it, I mean you’re not really using it anyways … As the saying goes, the day I decided to sell my soul there’d probably be a glut on the market.

Elliot Richards is, for lack of a better word, a dork. Relegated to the most dreaded of worker hells – tech support - he is a social pariah. Mocked by his colleagues, he spends his time – unsuccessfully - trying to be cool. What really makes life painful for Elliot is that he is hopelessly in love with one of his co-workers who doesn’t even know that he exists. One day, while lamenting his lot in life he casually mentions that he would give anything to have his beloved Allsion. Enter the Princess of Darkness, stage left.

Although the basics between this movie and the 1967 classic of the same name are similar, there are so many differences (styles of humor, characters, plot, etc) which make comparisons pointless. So I won’t even try. Bedazzled offers something so few comedies do – laughs, and lots or them, without relying on endless juvenile scatological gags or language that would make a longshoreman blush. I thoroughly enjoyed the physical transformations that Elliot, Allison, and his cohorts undergo (several of which are amazing) everytime he makes a wish. The spins on the wishes are especially amusing: for example, when Elliot wishes for power and wealth, he fails to take consider what they may entail. He wakes up in a spacious mansion, speaking Spanish, only to discover that he is a cuckolded Colombian drug lord whose kingdom is falling down around him. Elliot soon discovers that when dealing with the devil – surprise, surprise - nothing is as it seems.

I have liked Brendan Fraser since his role in “Encino Man”. Since then, he has proven himself capable of doing both schtick (“The Mummy”) and serious roles (“Gods and Monsters”) . And I’ll forget about Monkeybone if you will… With this part he shows just how versatile he is: rather than one role, he takes on seven distinct characters, and does so admirably (I particularly enjoyed sensitive guy - I was laughing so hard my side hurt). Elizabeth Hurley is deliciously wicked in a role that she was born to play (if reports about her are true…) and it appears that she enjoyed herself. Her spin on the ultimate temptress is hilarious and personally, I’ll take leather-clad vixens over slimy snakes any day. Francis O’Connor, brings the same verve and versatility to Allison that she displayed in “Mansfield Park”, although here she is less subdued. The supporting cast provides the finishing touch rounding out the film nicely.

Although it didn’t dazzle me, I was amused.


 
Movie Guru Rating
Average but solid.  Fans of this genre will probably enjoy it.  Others may not. Average but solid.  Fans of this genre will probably enjoy it.  Others may not. Average but solid.  Fans of this genre will probably enjoy it.  Others may not.
  3 out of 5 stars

 
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