Shortcut to Happiness
|Shortcut to Happiness|
|Directed by||Alec Baldwin (credited as "Harry Kirkpatrick")|
Stephen Vincent Benet (story)
Archibald Macleish (play)
Jennifer Love Hewitt
|Distributed by||Yari Film Group|
Shortcut to Happiness is a 2003 film adaptation of the Stephen Vincent Benet classic short story The Devil and Daniel Webster. It stars Alec Baldwin, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Anthony Hopkins. Baldwin also directed the film. Shot in early 2001 in New York City, the film was plagued with financial difficulties and was shelved for several years. Yari Film Group released the film to theaters in 2007.
Jabez Stone (Alec Baldwin) is a desperate, down on his luck writer who hits rock bottom when his close friend, Julius Jensen (Dan Aykroyd), finds success. 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 has 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.
- Alec Baldwin as Jabez Stone
- Jennifer Love Hewitt as The Devil
- Anthony Hopkins as Daniel Webster
- Dan Aykroyd as Julius Jensen
- Kim Cattrall as Constance Hurry
- Jason Patric as Ray
- Amy Poehler as Molly Gilchrest
- Darrell Hammond as Andrew Bailey
- John Savage as Johnny
- Frank Sivero as Luigi
- Barry Miller as Mike Weiss
- Mike Doyle as Luke
Shot in early 2001 in New York City, the film was plagued with financial difficulties. During post-production Baldwin had said the movie was taken from him. Due to this and other creative differences, Baldwin had his name removed from the directing credit; the name was ultimately replaced with the pseudonym "Harry Kirkpatrick". Bob Yari bought the film from a bankruptcy court for an undisclosed amount, which was said to be several million dollars. Once the film was cleared to be sold for distribution, a rough cut was screened at film festivals in 2003 and 2004, though much of the film's post-production work was not finished. The film needed further financing to complete the editing and special effects, as well as to replace temporary music.
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Shortcut to Happiness has received mostly negative reviews.