On Tuesday the vault kicked off the new series Witch, Please! in anticipation of the premiere of American Horror Story: Coven. I also promised we’d be starting a second series today to celebrate Halloween. Welcome stargazers to Scary Monsters Being Not Very Scary!. Sure, the title’s a bit of a mouthful, but you get the idea. To kick things off, let’s turn to the Serpent of Old, Satan who’s attributed with the creation of many a wicked beast.
The employees at San Francisco tech support company Synedyne cringe when coworker Elliott Richards (Brendan Fraser) arrives. Being both obnoxious and oblivious also makes him pretty lonely and he pines for fellow coworker Alison Gardner (Frances O’Connor) though he’s never actually spoken to her. After a failed attempt to strike up a conversation, the especially vulnerable Elliott mutters that he’d do anything to have that girl in his life. Hearing and smelling his desperation, the Devil (Elizabeth Hurley) approaches Elliott and offers him seven utterly fabulous wishes to win the affections of Alison, and all it will cost him is his piddling little soul.
Bedazzled is a remake of the Peter Cook and Dudley Moore film by the same name from 1967, which they based on the legend of Faust. Their idea, in the hands of producer-writer-director Harold Ramis, is updated for the new millennium, including a complete and stunning makeover for old Lucifer in the image of Elizabeth Hurley.
Clearly, the fit Elizabeth Hurley is the draw of many a drooling fan, which is evident from the nearly twenty costume changes she has during the film’s ninety minute runtime. Her tone physique is on display in a variety of slinky red and black dresses, form-fitting business suits, and leather bikinis. Fans’ roleplay fantasies are further enticed with appearances in schoolgirl skirts, candy striper outfits and police uniforms. All those tempting looks combined with that breathy English accent; if anyone could sell snow in the winter and fire in hell it’d be a hustler with Hurley’s attributes.
While Hurley holds up her half of the bargain with sexy, mischievous expressions and manipulative repartee, Brendan Fraser must prepare, as Elliott, to think he’s prepared for however the Devil may choose to twist his wish and, naturally be totally unprepared when the inevitable unforeseen curveball is thrown. Fraser is quite fun as Elliott, though at first, his portrayal is just shy of being wholly unlikable. His annoying qualities are reined in just enough to make the hole Elliott is digging for himself self-sobering. When he’s not reflecting on his bad judgement; he’s whooping it up as a Colombian drug lord, a savant, and a basketball MVP just to name a few. I’ve always enjoyed Brendan Fraser. Whether he’s playing a knuckle-dragging Neanderthal, a fast-on-his-feet adventurer, a bomb-sheltered man-child, or a caring father he always gives it his all, which says a lot considering some of the resulting films aren’t worth all his effort.
In that regard, it seems the majority would consider Bedazzled one such production. It wasn’t well-received though it did earn back it’s budget nearly twice over. Still, it can frequently be found either sharing space on a DVD and Blu-Ray disc with other mediocre films or being offered as a promotional freebie. My biggest complaint is the supporting cast is woefully underused; I for one would have loved to have seen more of Orlando Jones and Toby Huss. Bedazzled is a little risque, a lot of ridiculous, and its predictable plot will certainly not tax your brain. It may not be worth selling your soul for, but you won’t feel like you’ve lost minutes from your life if you take time to watch it.