Every so often you need to watch a good goofy comedy that isn’t overly complicated and funny yet isn’t so insultingly stupid you question why you ever thought devoting the 90-minutes to watch it was a good idea.
Bedazzled isn’t a particularly deep film. It’s got a simple premise of why making deals with the devil is probably not a smart way to go — even if she looks like Elizabeth Hurley. It helps that the film has a wickedly funny script, a cast up for anything and a director with such tight comedic timing that he keeps the laughs moving so smoothly and quickly you’ll feel like the 93 minute movie was as enjoyable as a really good sitcom episode.
He’s geeky, socially awkward and despite their best intention to convince him otherwise, completely believes that his co-workers (Orlando Jones, Paul Adelstein, Toby Huss and Miriam Shor) are his best friends.
But even Elliot isn’t delusional enough to think he has a shot with Alison (Frances O’Connor, who looks like she could be Mariah Carey’s less glamorous sister here), a co-worker he’s known for years and hasn’t worked up the nerve to strike up a conversation with since they first met.
After an attempt at wooing Alison goes embarrassingly wrong, Elliot’s fortunes change when The Devil (Hurley, Austin Powers [Blu-ray]) offers him seven wishes in order to win Alison’s heart in exchange for one tiny thing — his soul.
I never got around to watching the 1967 original version starring Dudley Moore, Peter Cook and Raquel Welch so I can’t vouch for how well the remake stacks up to it, but as its own film, it’s very entertaining.
A lot of the fun comes from the crazy scenarios Elliot finds himself in while trying to find the ideal combination to be the man of Alison’s dreams. I won’t spoil them, but the best bits are Elliot as a basketball player and a rich and powerful man.
Director Harold Ramis (Groundhog Day (15th Anniversary Special Edition) [Blu-ray]) keeps the wishes moving at a good pace so you never get too bored with one. The premise wouldn’t work if he lingered on any scenario for too long and he takes just long enough to set up what seems to be a perfect wish fulfillment for Elliot only for The Devil to sabotage it in the end.
Hurley wears 19 outfits in the film, including a school girl outfit she reportedly actually owned, and by the time she’s on her fifth outfit I wondered how in the world her ex, Hugh Grant, would have entertained the thought of cheating on her with a prostitute.
But Hurley isn’t all scorching sex appeal here, displaying a devilishly (sorry) sarcastic sense of humor that compliments Fraser well. Fraser is at his comedic best here and shows a surprising amount of versatility in handling the various roles while O’Connor, Jones, Adelstein and Huss offer fun supporting assistance.
Again, this is about as simple and uncomplicated you can get, but Bedazzled isn’t trying to do anything beyond providing some quick and easy laughs in a refreshingly heavenly comedy.
Rating: 7 out of 10
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