Bedazzled (2000 film)
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Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Harold Ramis|
|Produced by||Trevor Albert
|Screenplay by||Larry Gelbart
by Peter Cook &
|Music by||David Newman|
|Editing by||Craig Herring|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Running time||93 minutes|
Bedazzled is a 2000 fantastic-comedy film remake of the 1967 film of the same name, originally written by Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, which was itself a comic retelling of the Faust legend. The film was directed by Harold Ramis and stars Brendan Fraser and Elizabeth Hurley.
Elliot Richards (Brendan Fraser) is a geeky, over-zealous man working a dead-end technical support job in a San Francisco computer company. He has no friends and his co-workers are always avoiding him. He has a crush on his colleague, Alison Gardner (Frances O'Connor), but lacks the courage to ask her out. After Elliot is again ditched by his co-workers, at a bar while trying to talk to Alison, he says to himself that he would give anything for Alison to be with him. Satan (Elizabeth Hurley), in the form of a beautiful woman, overhears him and offers to give Elliot seven wishes in return for his soul.
As a test, he wishes for a Big Mac and Coke. Satan takes him to McDonald's and places the order. Elliot has to pay for it, because, "there ain't no such thing as a free lunch." After taking Elliot to her office, based at a nightclub in Oakland, Satan convinces Elliot to sign her contract, and delivers further wishes. Each wish has Elliot living them out with Alison and his co-workers in surrogate roles. However, he doesn't know that Satan will always spoil his wishes by adding something he doesn't want. Elliot wishes to be rich and powerful, with Alison as his wife. Satan makes him a Colombian drug lord whose wife despises him and cheats on him with Raul, his co-worker, who is secretly planning to get rid of Elliot and take his position and property. Soon after there is a firefight between his and Raul's people where Elliot "dies". When he returns to the real world, Satan points out that he never wished for Alison to love him.
Secondly, Elliot wishes to be emotionally sensitive so he will understand the needs and desires of women. Satan makes him so sensitive that he spends most of his time crying over how beautiful the world is, and constantly asks Alison, his girlfriend of "three magical weeks," whether he has hurt her or if she needs anything. Alison says she has had enough of it and wants to be with a man who is strong and shallow. She then leaves Elliot for a man who is strong, rude and completely different from the romantic and emotionally sensitive Elliot. Elliot then wishes to be a superstar athlete who would be a woman magnet. Satan makes him a cliché-spewing NBA star, but also gives him a small penis and a low IQ, which causes Alison, a sports reporter, to lose interest in him shortly after they meet.
He then wishes to be intelligent, witty and well-endowed. Satan grants this by making him a famous writer whom Alison falls in love with at a cocktail party. When they arrive at Elliot's home to make love it is revealed that Elliot is gay and living with a flamboyant male partner. Lastly, Elliot wishes to be President of the United States to try to improve the world and get Alison to take him seriously. Satan makes him Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theatre on the night of his assassination which he nearly avoids. After each wish is renounced, Elliot meets with Satan and she blames him for not being specific enough. Eventually he returns to work, thinking about what he should do with the last two wishes. Satan appears on the computer screen, pointing out that on their first meeting he asked for a Big Mac and Coke, although she had stated that it was a test wish and granted it before Elliot signed the contract. Elliot loses his patience and storms out of his office.
Elliot visits a church looking for God's help, where he briefly confesses to a priest who seems sympathetic. However, after being asked whether he thinks asking Satan for a Big Mac and Coke counts as a wish, the priest, believing he is drunk, has Elliot arrested. The sergeant books him, and Satan, dressed as a police officer, throws him in a cell, telling him that she does like him, and it would not hurt to have her as a friend. Elliot's cellmate (Gabriel Casseus) tells him that he cannot possibly sell his soul as it belongs to God, and although Satan may try to confuse him, in the end he will realise who he truly is, and what his purpose is. Elliot questions the man as to his identity, but the response is simply "a really good friend".
Elliot asks Satan to cancel their contract. When Satan refuses, Elliot states he will not use his final wish. Satan teleports them to Hell, where she transforms first into a black horned monster, then into a giant. When Satan pushes him to make a final wish, Elliot wishes that Alison could have a happy life - with or without him. Satan sighs and Elliot falls into the depths of Hell. Elliot wakes up on a marble staircase, wondering if it is Heaven. Satan tells him that it is a courthouse and that a selfless wish voids the contract, so he keeps his soul. Elliot admits that despite her manipulation of him he has come to like Satan and regards her as a friend, something she does not object to. She replies that Heaven and Hell can be found on Earth; it is up to humans to choose. Elliot asks Alison out, only to learn that she is already dating somebody. He continues with his life, but with a better understanding of who he is.
Later Elliot is confronted by Bob, one of his co-workers, who starts ridiculing Elliot at the encouragement of his co-workers. Elliot loses his temper and grabs a terrified Bob by the shirt, but lets go, simply saying, "Nice talking to you." A threatening look sends his other co-workers scurrying away in fear. At home, he meets a new neighbor, Nicole Delarusso (also played by Frances O'Connor), whose looks resemble Alison's, but whose personality, interests and dressing styles are much closer to his. He offers to help her unpack and they presumably begin a relationship. While the two walk along a boulevard, Satan and Elliot's cellmate, both dressed in white, are seen playing chess, looking at Elliot and his new girlfriend, which seems to suggest the cellmate is God or an angel. The scene ends by listing foibles of Nicole's and Elliot's, which they both tolerate.
- Brendan Fraser as Elliot Richards / Jefe / "Mary" / Abraham Lincoln
- Elizabeth Hurley as The Devil (Satan)
- Frances O'Connor as Alison Gardner / Nicole Delarusso
- Orlando Jones as Daniel / Dan / Danny / Esteban / Beach Jock / Lamar Garrett / Dr. Ngegitigegitibaba
- Paul Adelstein as Bob / Roberto / Beach Jock / Bob Bob
- Toby Huss as Jerry / Alejandro / Beach Jock / Jerry Turner / Lance
- Miriam Shor as Carol / Penthouse Hostess
- Gabriel Casseus as Elliot's Cellmate (God)
- Brian Doyle-Murray as Priest
- Jeff Doucette as Desk Sergeant
- Aaron Lustig as Synedyne Supervisor
- Rudolf Martin as Raoul
- Julian Firth as John Wilkes Booth
The film received mixed reviews from critics. Film aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gave it 48%, with the general consensus being: "Though it has its funny moments, this remake is essentially a one joke movie with too many flat plots."
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