Elliot Richardson, a socially awkward IT worker, is given seven wishes to get the girl of his dreams when he meets up with a very seductive Satan. The catch: his soul. Some of his wishes include being a 7 foot basketball star, a wealthy, powerful man, and a sensitive caring guy. But, as could be expected, the Devil must put her own little twist on each his fantasies. Written by
Why remake this film? It would seem to me that the only reason would be if the first incarnation suffered in some way. Although seeing it today, the only flaw the original 'Bedazzled' has is that it is outdated by our modern lifestyles. Peter Cook and Dudley Moore made a very funny team back in the sixties and their version of 'Bedazzled' really out-performs the remake. Even the love interest (Eleanor Bron) had more personality in the original. I recommend seeing the 1967 'Bedazzled' if you are over the age of thirty and leaving this new one for kids who don't know any better.
Both films are about a misfit (Moore in the original, Brendan Fraser here) who is unhappy and lonely in life. Along comes the Devil (Cook in the original, Elizabeth Hurley here) who grants him seven wishes in exchange for his soul. (The whole idea is itself based on a Faust legend from 400 years ago.) Sure, Hurley is gorgeous and more pleasing to the eye than Peter Cook, but she doesn't have the truly demonic disposition required to carry this role off. Cook had a mean streak throughout the first film that made you believe he was rotten. He also had the seven deadly sins around him as his helpers to punctuate what was happening to Moore's character. The Devil had his own agenda in the original. Even the ending of the 1967 film was far superior to this sappy denouement.
The elements they should have worked on updating here are the wishes themselves. The efforts of Fraser's character should have focussed on refining what he wished for to adjust for judgment errors in his past wishes. Instead, he just makes knee-jerk wishes that turn out terrible and wasteful. In fact his very first wish had more stipulations than successive wishes. When the deal is first struck, he is skeptical yet thoughtful. He words his wishes carefully. By the second wish, he forgot what went wrong the first time and tries to correct it by overcompensating. A character like Fraser's Elliot would have truly put some thought into each wish. The fun would have been Hurley finding a hole that he didn't account for. Now THAT would have been a hell of a movie!
I did not entirely hate this remake of 'Bedazzled.' There were quite a few laughs. And I might have even liked this and gone on to recommend it had I not seen the original. I am disappointed with director Harold Ramis. In his hands, I would have thought this would have outsparkled the original 'Bedazzled.' I guess the devil made him do it. (Sorry about that. I couldn't resist.)
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