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Jimmie is seeing his single friends get married one by one. He isn't too worried until his girlfriend Anne catches the bouquet at his friend Marco's wedding. Suddenly, his wild mustang days are numbered. He finally decides to propose to her, but he sticks his foot in his mouth and botches the proposal. Being insulted by the defeatist proposal, Anne leaves town on an assignment. After she's gone, he finds out that his recently-deceased grandfather's will stipulates that he gets nothing of a multi-million dollar fortune unless he's married by 6:05pm on his 30th birthday: tomorrow! Not being able to find Anne, Jimmie begins backtracking through his past girlfriends to find a wife. Written by
The same unfunny joke is played over and over; flat, predictable, underdeveloped. * out of ****.
THE BACHELOR (1999) *
Starring: Chris O'Donnell, Renée Zellweger, James Cromwell, Hal Holbrook, and Brooke Shields Directors: Buster Keaton and Gary Sinyor Running time: 101 minutes Rated PG-13 (for language and some sex-related dialogue)
By Blake French:
New Line Cinema appears to be on a losing streak this year with releasing flops and encountering narrow critical success with their productions. From "Drop Dead Gorgeous" to "Detroit Rock City," to "Body Shots" and now "The Bachelor." This movie is a romantic comedy that contains such a flat feeling and predictable plot, it is arguably the worst film released by this production company all year.
"The Bachelor" accommodates a story centering on undeveloped characters and the one dimensional situations they are placed into. The male romantic lead here is played Chris O'Donnell, and his name is Jimmie Shannon, who is supposedly in love with the usually dependable Renée Zellweger, where here is Anne. Jimmie and Anne are developed within a brief three minute opening scene where one meets the other at a coffee house when they exchange about ten words with each other. Their conversation is of pointless proportions, and has no clue of preparing any romantic chemistry or witty dialogue for us. Thus there is no believable quality between Anne and Jimmie, and this is just the opening sequence. How can a romance be effective if we don't buy the couple as a couple from the first scene?
We couldn't care less about the characters so far in the film, mainly because we lack knowledge concerning them. But soon afterward, Jimmie proposes to Anne at a fancy restaurant, where for some reason, she is offended at his verbal presentation. You see, the film is so hopeless for romantic tension, it uses the Anne character as a stubborn, unhappy brat in attempt to raise it. The film requires a delay in the engagement, due to an upcoming gimmick.
Now we have Anne angry at Jimmie, hence taking a trip to some place far away in the very near future--business matters. These events are present is to increase what little dramatic tension there. It also requires Jimmie to clean up his act before Anne leaves. Then one of his old relatives die, whose will leaves Jimmie over one hundred million dollars, if his current life applies toward his requirements: basically he has to be married within a day.
The conflict is introduced in the beginning of the second act, instead of at the start the picture. Not that it really matters where the problem is brought to our attention, because we don't care about the outcome of any relationship here. The rest of the film has Jimmie running from ex-girlfriend to ex-girlfriend desperately proposing to each so he can receive the cash promised. After a brief appearance by a popular pop singer, to an almost successful wed to a bitchy character played by Brooke Shields, Jimmie only finds himself deeper in love with the girl in his heart, Anne.
I will not announce if Anne and Jimmie find true love in each other. Nor will I say if Jimmie inherits the millions left to him. The only thing we know by the trailers and posters is that somehow Jimmie will be trailed by hundreds of angry bride-to-be's down the streets of his home town. This scene is highly anticipated, and energetic, but never really funny. The way it is carried out wreaks of hilarity, but lacks slapstick quality, and believe it or not, it doesn't provoke any laughs. The supporting roles are overacted and exaggerated, but the main characters are greatly underplayed. The two romantic leads are boring, shallow, witless puppets of the plot. That is most certainly the reason why I found myself enjoying the side characters. Brooke Shields contributes an effective performance with a small side character. And James Cromwell, as a kind-hearted priest, is easily the most interesting character in the movie--the only thing is, he utters but ten lines throughout the movie.
The performances from Chris O'Donnell and the Renée Zellweger come off as dreadfully dual, unimaginative and withered. O'Donnell doesn't bring any charm to his otherwise likable character, and ends up performing with conventional, utterly undertaken style. And Zellweger, who was so good in "One True Thing," has nothing to do here, beyond following the commands of the plot. What a colossal disappointment.
Another thing absent in "The Bachelor" is laughs, which are no where to be found. The way the film is portrayed is not funny at all, mainly because after the gimmick is introduced we receive more and more of the same unfunny marital. This is due to the severe lack of concern for the characters. One of the viewers I screened the production with literally fell asleep during this movie. She says that this is because it is boring. I say it is because we care so little and know so little about the characters, we feel tired and slumberous.
Conclusion Statement: Half way through "The Bachelor" I still did not know the character's names. And personally, I never did care enough to learn them.
Brought to you by New Line Cinema.
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