5.6/10
4,075
29 user 13 critic

Shortcut to Happiness (2003)

The Devil and Daniel Webster (original title)
A down-and-out writer sells his soul to the devil in exchange for fame and fortune.

Director:

(as Harry Kirkpatrick)

Writers:

(story "The Devil and Daniel Webster"), (play) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Virl Andrick ...
Ray Aranha ...
Kaniel Arocho ...
Jorge Arocho ...
...
Howard Atlee ...
...
...
...
...
Cop
...
Herself
...
Antoni Cornacchione ...
Bill Corsair ...
Grenville Cuyler ...
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Storyline

In Manhattan, the aspirant writer Jabez Stone is a complete loser: he is not able to sell his novels, he lives in a lousy apartment and he does not have success with women. When one of his friends Julius Jenson sells his novel for US$ 190,000.00 to an editor, Jabez fells envy and promises to sell his soul to the devil for success and accidentally kills a woman with his typing machine. The Devil knocks on his door, fixes the situation and seals a contract with Jabez. His low quality novels have bad reviews but become best-sellers; Jabez enriches; has success with women, but has no time for his friends. Jabez meets with the publisher Daniel Webster who offers him a chance to break the contract with the devil. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

the devil is in the details.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Fantasy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language and sexual content | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 August 2007 (Kazakhstan)  »

Also Known As:

Shortcut to Happiness  »

Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Alec Baldwin, the film was extensively re-edited after it came into the possession of Bob Yari Productions, and no longer bears any resemblance to its original form or to the Benet short story, hence the title change. Baldwin has since requested that his name be removed from the credits as director and producer. See more »

Goofs

While showing Jabez his new apartment, the Realtor says Irving Berlin wrote "White Christmas" there. In fact, the song was written while sitting at the pool at the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa in Phoenix, Arizona in 1940. See more »

Quotes

Daniel Webster: Mr. Stone. Man of the hour. You're quite a success.
Jabez Stone: Thank you.
Daniel Webster: It wasn't meant as a compliment.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Family Guy: Stuck Together, Torn Apart (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Smooth Comfort
Written and Performed by Richard Glasser
Courtesy of Billabong Music
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User Reviews

 
A Very Good film and definitely worth watching
25 August 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I saw this film at the Venice Film Festival and have waited a long time to comment on it as I wanted to see it again when I was released. However, it still has not come out and I don't know if it ever will.

Alec Baldwin is a writer, down on his luck and nowhere to go but down even further.

As with many viewers I suspect, I was attracted to this film by the cast and the fact that it has received so much press, good and bad. The plot is based on the old casino idea of a writer whose career in next to nil and is getting ready to self destruct – and unless you get into it, it'll feel rather forced and silly at times.

However the film helped me to overcome this by being very low key and downbeat – very much like Baldwin himself. The film is not a great thing but one that is easy to get into. The film uses Las Vegas really well but it is a classic story that is fun to believe in. It is much better than the fun, breezy and slick fantasies that we are sold in other films. The mix of romance, comedy and violence works very well – at points it was very touching, at others quite funny.

It isn't perfect of course and the writing is where the problems lie; the story did rely on the audience buying into it and at times the dialogue comes very close to corn (but just misses). The only time I felt really let down was the ending, which, although fitting with the spirit of the film, missed a great chance to be fun, exciting and original all at the same time.

Still, a good film and definitely worth the watching.


30 of 49 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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