Retro Review: Bedazzled

Brendan Fraser plays a guy seduced by devilish Elizabeth Hurley. Are there any guys out there that don’t envy this guy?

Fraser plays a schmuck named Elliot Richards who yearns for the love of the beautiful Alison Gardner (Frances O’Connor). One day Elliot makes a wish that he would do anything to be apart of that girl’s life. At that moment a billiard ball strikes his shoe and a dazzling temptress (Elizabeth Hurley) looks deep into his eyes from across the room. Before Elliot realizes it he is playing pool with this temptress. She asks all these questions about what he would exactly do to get Alison.

Elliot is captivated by this woman and follows her around until she reveals that she is indeed the “devil”. Elliot doesn’t believe her and asks for proof. Eventually Elliot gets convinced and he is given 7 wishes for his soul.

Will Elliot ever get Allison? Will Elliot be able to find his way out of this arrangement?

Fraser is quickly becoming one of my favorite actors. I really liked his comedic timing and depth in this film. He has to play all the very different Elliots which show he has a great range. Fraser has left the Jay Ward cartoon adaptations behind and is becoming a very versatile actor.

Hurley is breathtaking, captivating and putting aside the pun, devilish. Her on screen presence will make us all want to meet the devil.

“Bedazzled” is based on a 1967 film of the same name starring Raquel Welch and Dudley Moore. I liked this predictable comedy because of its stars. I also really enjoyed that Hollywood recast the devil as a woman. I think that angle added spice and delight to Elliot’s world.

Another brilliant casting was Fraser who in every new Elliot wish plays a new man and its Fraser who makes us howl as he always finds a mistake in the wish. There is one of the wishes that will really surprise you. Write me if you know the one I mean.

One thing they left out of this adaptation was the addition of the Seven Deadly Sins which advise Dudley Moore (in the original) on each wish. Instead in the current film we have Hurley in a different sultry outfit. Not that I am complaining but the Sins did add something to the first film. The new movie really works because of the stars not necessarily because of the story.

One other small problem I had with the film was the running time. Bedazzled is only about 90 minutes and some of the wishes seem kind of rushed. I would have liked to have lived a bit longer in a couple of Elliot’s wishes. Plus what happened to the scene in the trailer involving red bikini-clad Hurley and the snake? Did a wish actually end up on the cutting room floor? Can anyone say DVD added feature?

Still Bedazzled is a hilarious and star-driven movie.

4 out of 5

So Says the Soothsayer.

3 thoughts on “Retro Review: Bedazzled

  1. Way to break out with an unexpected review! I saw this in the theaters when it came out and I really enjoyed it — Elizabeth Hurley has great comic timing (favorite line: “They banged me like a Salvation Army drum”) and Brendan Fraser is a wildly underrated comedic actor who has a vulnerable side you don’t see in crap like “The Mummy.”

    M. Carter @ the Movies

    1. Thanks so much for your nice comment. There seems to be some confusion to when I wrote some of the Retro reviews. All the “Retro Reviews” on my blog are from when I was a film critic from 1997 to 2007 so they were when the Thursday before the film was released. I am cataloging all the reviews from that time period as well as writing new columns and reviews for the blog.

  2. The DVD doesn’t add anything, really. There was another wish (and a few extra scenes) cut. Elliot gets to be a rock star in a deleted wish and there was supposed to be a scene where the Devil shows up as a French maid.

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