Bedazelled: Directed by Harold Ramis
a jpoc movie review
Weaker than average comedy.
My Rating & viewing notes
Three out of ten.
Maria and I saw this film in February 2001 at the Cineplex in Paderborn, Germany. They show one film in English each week to a very small audience.
This film is a remake of a rather better one from Peter Cook and Dudley Moore in the sixties.
Elliot Richards (Brendan Fraser) is an embarrassing social misfit. He tries too hard to fit in with everyone and that is his problem. Nobody where he works wants to know him and especially, this includes Alice (Frances O'Connor II) with whom Elliott is besotted.
One evening, at the height of his misfortunes, he is offered a deal by the devil (Elizabeth Hurley) in which he can exchange his soul for a series of wishes which he can use to capture the love of Alice. Of course, the wishes never work out as hoped and he becomes more and more frustrated and desperate as time goes on.
Well, that could be the basis for an interesting film based on comedy from the romantic to the slapstick and also with a moral to portray. Unfortunately, it manages to miss all of these targets by varying distances.
A romantic comedy requires two participants and O'Connor, for all that she carries such an illustrious name, plays her character as flat as a piece of scenery. She is capable of much better than this and I suppose that a lot of her performance comes at the stipulation of the director.
The film comes a little closer as slapstick but it fails there largely on pace and the quality of the jokes. Audiences are not stupid and a five second joke quite simply does not need a minutes worth of building up and then belabouring the point.
The only redeeming point is Hurley who rolls out all of her abilities in her normal style. She is also pretty well the only source of humour in the movie.
Of course, her performance is not enough by itself to lift the film out of mediocrity and it is certainly not a movie to go out of your way to view.