Hurley Dazzles as a Sexy Devil
I have places to go, people to condemn to an eternity of fiery torment - The Devil
Although it may share the same name with the 1967 movie "Bedazzled", this movie from 2000 is not just a remake rather than one which uses some ideas, the same devilish theme and then makes a new movie from it all. As such Harold Ramis's "Bedazzled" is not bad; it's mildly entertaining and features a fun, sexy performance from Elizabeth Hurley as the devil but little else that really makes it anymore than just average.
After failing to chat to Alison (Frances O'Connor), his office colleague who he has secretly loved from afar for 4 years, nerdish Elliot Richards (Brendan Fraser - The Mummy) is seduced by the devil (Elizabeth Hurley - Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery) who offers him 7 wishes in return for his soul. Agreeing to this contract Elliot wishes to be with Alison but as each wish fails to live up to what he hoped for he becomes disillusioned with it all.
"Bedazzled" actually starts quite well with the introduction to Elliot Richards an almost caricature of the put upon geek, the guy who tries so hard yet is annoying as hell as he tries to fit in. It's an extreme character so dweeby that it's unbelievable yet sort of likable, thanks mainly to Brendan Fraser's innocent charm. Even the introduction to the devil with Elizabeth Hurley having great fun playing the seductress Beelzebub is all quite entertaining especially with the various sexy outfits that she slides into. But then sadly after that it goes all sort of wrong as it hits the main part of the story with the 7 wishes.
The biggest problem is as Elliot works his way through his wishes trying to find happiness with Alison it all becomes repetitive, obvious and ultimately boring. Even the first wish as he wants to be married to Alison, rich and powerful doesn't really set the pace rising as it is daft and in Spanish making it more annoying than funny. And so it goes on with each wish becoming dafter, more boring and frankly a little tedious. The only things which spices up these various wish scenes is when he returns back to normality and we have the pleasure of Elizabeth Hurley in another sexy ensemble such as being a teacher in an incredibly short skirt, yes obvious boy hood fantasy stuff but it is a scene which works surprisingly well.
You do get to the point when you want all this wish stuff to come to an end and when it does "Bedazzled" then tries to deliver some sort of message, well what else do you expect from a movie which features the devil buying souls and dishing out wishes. As such it is a nice message but is less than subtly done which is something you could say about "Bedazzled" in general it is not subtle. The good news is that when the ending does finally come it's quite good, a little nice, a little unexpected and makes up for much of the repetitive nonsense which has gone on before.
The thing is that "Bedazzled" relies on the set piece wishes to amuse you, they're designed to be funny but they don't always work. It leaves "Bedazzled" floating a little because whilst the emphasis of Elliot's endeavours is to become the guy he believes Alison wants it lacks any real romance and definitely no tension. It just doesn't have anything else to cover up when the comedy side of it doesn't work or becomes boring.
Although Elizabeth Hurley is seductively sexy as the devil and she looks pretty wicked in the various revealing outfits, she doesn't really embody what we all know to be as Satan. It's probably intentional, they even make a joke about it in the movie, but whilst Hurley definitely has fun seducing, flirting and draping herself over Brendan Fraser she doesn't quite come across as evil enough, not really wicked rather than just plain naughty. Even Brendan Fraser doesn't do much better as overly nice guy Elliot, it's an over the top character being too nice, too put upon and too desperate to believe but even so it's too much. Again Fraser seems to be having fun with the character and there is an arc to the characters development throughout the movie but it's too over the top and lacking any subtlety at all.
Aside from Hurley and Fraser, Frances O'Connor sort of blends into the background as Alison the object of Elliot's affections and the likes of Orlando Jones, Toby Huss, Paul Adelstein fail to be other than background noise in their various different characters.
What this all boils down to is that "Bedazzled" has it's moments which will make you smile, most notably those which feature Elizabeth Hurley's seductive Satan flirting with Fraser's nerdish Elliot but otherwise it just disappointingly floats. It's too repetitive and many of the comedy moments border on being too daft lacking the subtlety to make it truly entertaining. So much emphasis is placed on the comedy of the wishes that whole purpose, the romantic storyline is forgotten about, lost in amongst the daftness..
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