Friday, August 22, 2008

Bedazzled (2000)

Elizabeth Hurley, Bedazzled
When Brendan Fraser isn't remaking children's cartoons into movies,1 he's remaking old movies. Thus we have Bedazzled,2 costarring Elizabeth Hurley3 in roles originally developed and played by Dudley Moore and Peter Cook, respectively.

Bedazzled tells the story of a lovable loser (Fraser) who is in love with a girl from the office.4 She, of course, doesn't know that he exists, let alone that he's in love with her. Fraser says he would give anything to have her in his life, at which point the Devil arrives to offer him seven wishes. Like the monkey's paw,5 each of these wishes has a way of turning on our hero.

Frances O'Connor, Brendan Fraser, Bedazzled
In then end, the audience is told that wishing won't change your life. We each have to make our own changes and work for ourselves. It's a nice moral fitting with American meritocratic ideals. Of course, in the end, Fraser is given what he wants without having to do anything, but maybe we aren't supposed to notice that... After all, fate is outside of wishing.

In the end, I think I own this movie because I enjoy the cast. Despite the fact that Brendan Fraser will never win any awards for acting, I still enjoy him. The ways in which his wishes go awry are sometimes rather humorous. Elizabeth Hurley does a fantastic job as the Devil, and her little evils are quite glib.

Brendan Fraser, Elizabeth Hurley, Bedazzled
Elliot Richards: But it's my soul! I can't give you my soul.
The Devil: What are you, James Brown?


Notes:
1. e.g., George of the Jungle and Dudley Do-Right.
2. e.g., The Mummy
3. I have a bit of a thing for Ms. Hurley. She's definitely on my list.
4. Played by Frances O'Connor who you may remember from Artificial Intelligence.
5. Read the classic story here.

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