Shortcut to Happiness (2003) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • 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.

  • In the literary world, Jabez Stone (Alec Baldwin) is a down and out writer trying to make the big time in New York. Saddened, he has no luck with women and his best friend Julius (Dan Akroyd) has just gloated to him that he sold his novel to Webster books. Jealous of Julius, and with is long string of bad luck, he promises to sell his soul to the Devil (Jennifer Love Hewitt) in exchange for success. The Devil immediately fixes everything and he becomes famous, has success with women, and a career that fulfills his wildest dreams! With the help of Constance Hurry (Kim Cattrall) Jabez is on the fast track to the top. However, the view from the top isn't as good as what he thought it would be. Time is running out fast on his 10-year contract for his soul. Having realized his mistake, Jabez must enlist the help of Daniel Webster (Anthony Hopkins) who offers him a chance to break the contract with the devil and try to save his mortal soul...

  • A down-and-out writer sells his soul to the devil in exchange for fame and fortune.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • Jabez Stone (Alec Baldwin) is a desperate, down on his luck writer who reaches rock bottom when his close friend, Julius Jensen (Dan Aykroyd), finds success. Thwarted in his attempts to get his work published, he meets a beautiful stranger (Jennifer Love Hewitt) who offers him a chance at fame and fortune in exchange for his soul. Stone, having lost faith in himself, agrees to the offer.

    After accepting the deal Jabez is quickly lavished with all he had ever dreamed of. A book deal, money, women, notoriety, Stone now had it all. However, despite the success, he is losing the friendship, respect and trust of those around him. Coming to the realization that he didn't quite get everything he bargained for, Stone begs the Devil to release him from their deal. When the Devil scoffs he turns to famed orator Daniel Webster (Anthony Hopkins). The two conclude that they should take the battle to court with Webster defending Stone in an otherworldly trial against the Devil in the ultimate battle of wits in a fight over the fate of Stone's soul.

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