5.6/10
4,447
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:

Alec Baldwin (as Harry Kirkpatrick)

Writers:

Stephen Vincent Benet (story "The Devil and Daniel Webster"), Archibald Macleish (play) | 4 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Virl Andrick Virl Andrick ... Dick
Ray Aranha Ray Aranha ... Mailman
Kaniel Arocho Kaniel Arocho ... Skateboard Kid #1
Jorge Arocho Jorge Arocho ... Skateboard Kid #2
Mary Ashton ... Production Assistant
Howard Atlee Howard Atlee ... Award Audience Man
Dan Aykroyd ... Julius Jensen
Alec Baldwin ... Jabez Stone
Gregg Bello ... Rick Fusco
Bobby Cannavale ... Cop
Jann Carl ... Herself
Kim Cattrall ... Constance Hurry
Antoni Cornacchione Antoni Cornacchione ... Security Guard
Bill Corsair Bill Corsair ... Aging Writer
Grenville Cuyler Grenville Cuyler ... Taxi Hailer
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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:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 August 2007 (Kazakhstan) See more »

Also Known As:

Shortcut to Happiness See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Filming was completed in 2001, but the movie was shelved for two years, due to lack of funds to complete post-production. However, My Own Worst Enemy Productions acquired the rights to the title and it was released in 2003. See more »

Goofs

When buying the house, Jabez Stone sees the Devil on the beach. He runs to her with his shirt's collar over his jacket. But when he is there and talks to the Devil the collar is carefully tucked under. See more »

Quotes

Aging Writer: Ah, the great Daniel Webster!
Daniel Webster: The drunk Mr. Hardy.
Aging Writer: Better drunk than a whore, I always say.
Daniel Webster: Better neither than both.
See more »

Connections

Version of The Devil and Daniel Mouse (1978) See more »

Soundtracks

First Edition
Written and Performed by Larry Brown (as Lawrence H. Brown)
Courtesy of 440 Incorporated
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User Reviews

 
Smarmy, tasteless, trendily cynical rewrite of "The Devil and Daniel Webster"
21 July 2010 | by moonspinner55See all my reviews

Struggling novelist, unable to get anything published much less an actual audience to read his work, enters into a pact with a comely female Satan: fame and fortune in exchange for his immortal soul. Archibald Macleish's play "Scratch" becomes an updating of "The Devil and Daniel Webster" (filmed in 1941, with a panicked farmer as the tempted central figure); producer-director Alec Baldwin portrays the leading character opposite a terrific supporting cast, including Anthony Hopkins as lawyer Daniel Webster and Jennifer Love Hewitt as the Devil. Unfortunately, the movie was edited against Baldwin's wishes after sitting on the shelf for years, debuting on the Starz television network in 2007 after some brief theatrical bookings. It begins well but quickly loses its footing once Baldwin's writer gains the success he so desired, turning the picture into a yuppie treatise on the old money-can't-buy-happiness ploy. The filmmakers are so out-of-touch, they don't even consider the fact that maybe some of the writer's needs ARE fulfilled by his newfound celebrity. Instead, he turns into a sad sack with money in the bank and women at his feet--clearly not something struggling writers in real-life can identify with. Worse, there's never a moment when this man's heart is actually detectable; Baldwin is so callow an actor (not to mention as the director) that all we perceive are his handsome, unmodulated externals. He purses his lips and gazes intently at the camera, hoping to smolder, while viewers lose track of the character's roots. The final courtroom battle is well-played, though so much of the writing is smarmy, and executed without style, that the overall results are distinctly unsatisfactory. *1/2 from ****


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