Isn’t it odd that people in movies never act like people in real life do?
In Bedazzled, Elliot Richards (played by Brendan Fraser) is a geeky tech support employee who runs into Satan HERself (Elizabeth Hurley) at a local club. Elliot only has one wish in life, which is to be united with Allison, the girl of his dreams (Frances O’Connor), but in exchange for his soul, Elliot is granted a total of seven.
None of his wishes are limited in length or stipulation. Elliot is also handed a pager and is told if he dials ‘666’, his wish will be canceled and he will return to our “present” reality. How bad could it get, right?
The Devil is not in the business of letting people live happily ever after. Anyone who’s ever seen any of the classic Twilight Zone episodes (The man who was granted immortality gets a life sentence in prison, the man who gets all the books in the world to read breaks his only pair of reading glasses, etc) will know exactly what to expect. The Devil shoots holes in each of Elliot’s wishes by reading between the lines and giving him a little something extra each time.
Elliot’s first wish seemed pretty good to me: he wished to be rich, powerful, good looking, and to be married to Allison. POOF, he gets his wish! Unfortunately, he has become a rich, powerful, good looking COLUMBIAN DRUG LORD, married to an unfaithful Allison. OOPS.
Right about here is where I started getting irked with the movie. In the midst of gunfire, Elliot dials his way out of that wish and, instead of being MORE specific in his following wishes, he becomes LESS specific. Some of his other wishes include stuff like, “I wish I were an NBA basketball player.” Huh? Plenty of room for error there. When Elliot wishes he were the President of the United States of America, the Devil turns him into Abraham Lincoln, about ten minutes before he is shot.
You would think that at some point Elliot would just wish, “I wish my life were just like it is today, except I was happily married to Allison and she were happily married to me. Nothing else would change. Oh, and each time I open my wallet, there would be a new, non-counterfeit, spendable $100 bill there.”
Seems pretty easy to me, but instead Elliot runs around like an idiot wishing he were “the world’s most sensitive man” (who gets beat up by bullies on the beach) and “a well spoken gentleman who the lady’s adore” (they sure do – and so do the men, the Devil made him gay).
Not that I am a big religious person (or a small religious person, for that matter), but I thought I had seen the diety related-cinematic low point when I saw Alanis MOrrisette as God in Dogma. Her casting seems brilliant compared to the gangster in prison who plays God in Bedazzled. If God created us in his/her image, then God looks a lot like Coolio I’m thinking.
I’ve done a lot of rambling about Bedazzled, and not a lot of reviewing, so here’s my short review. Each of the wishes play out like short Saturday Night Live skits – which actually works out okay. None of the skits would make interesting full length movies, but at five to ten minutes each they’re all bearable. The ended totally sucked, and absolutely reeks of “hey guess what this movie is getting to long so let’s end it right now”. Elliot signed a contract thousands of pages long, but happens to wish for “just the right thing” that gets him out of the contract. Likely. This isn’t some sleeze ball attorney here, it’s the DEVIL. HELLO? MR. HORNS??? Pretty easy to fool for being the Prince of Darkness and all that good stuff.
For what it was, Bedazzled is not a bad film. The biggest problem with SNL type films is they take a 5 minute sketch and stretch it into 90 minutes, which almost never works. However, by taking several shorter skits and linking them together, Bedazzled never bores you to death with any one sketch.
If nothing else, the flick is good for sitting around with your buddies and wishing that Elizabeth Hurley will take off her clothes.
PS: There’s an alternate wish that got cut from the film which is hidden on the DVD. In the cut wish Elliot becomes a rock star that seems to be mostly Ozzy Osbourne, with a little Sid Vicious thrown in. There’s plenty of sex, drugs, and rock and roll in this scene, which is why it was cut – to keep the movie at a PG-13 rating instead of a R-Rating, which this scene surely would have done. It’s unfortunate that it was cut, it’s the funniest of the bunch.
PPS: The snake/outfit combo that appears on the cover never appears in the movie.