Hurley is a devilish Halloween treat in 'Bedazzled'

by Justin Bow | 10/31/00 6:00am

"Bedazzled" is light, fun and quite amusing. When I went to see the film, one of my friends ended up laughing so hard that the other audience members were shooting us dirty looks.

The basic story is this -- Brendan Fraser plays Elliot Richards, a customer service representative for a corporation based in San Francisco. Elliot is an immense dork whose co-workers hate him, and even the audience wants to kill him within about three minutes of him opening his mouth. Plus, he's a bad dresser, and there's just no excuse for that kind of thing.

In the middle of his miserable, lame, loser life, Elliot meets Elizabeth Hurley. Only, she's not Elizabeth Hurley in this movie, she's Satan. And she's hot. Elliot gets seven wishes in exchange for his soul. Hilarity ensues.

That's the plot of the movie. There are a lot of good things that the directors and writers did, but I want to get the bad points of this film out in the open so that we can go on to discuss the true genius afterwards.

First, you already know how the movie's going to end before the opening credits roll. Even though Brendan Fraser sells his soul to the devil, he does not end up being sent to Hell. This is a comedy.

Which is kind of unfortunate. It would have been gutsy to go through all the comedic stuff and then send Brendan Fraser to roast. But that doesn't happen, so yes, the film is a little clichd.

That's basically the only thing truly wrong with the movie, however, and it only ruins perhaps five or ten minutes of screen time. On a personal note, I didn't buy Brendan Fraser playing a big nerd. Not that he wasn't nerdy and not that I didn't want to kill him right away, but I just don't believe that anyone who looks like Brendan Fraser can grow up to be a huge loser. I mean, in the real world, he grew up to be a movie star. But that's just me, and it doesn't really affect the quality of the film too much.

Now, on to the promised genius. Yes, I said genius. The greatest selling point for "Bedazzled" is its originality. I know I just told you that the end was a clich, but the rest of the movie is original.

Not just the story part of the movie either; the opening credits are just fantastic. I actually enjoyed watching the opening credits. The director takes a whole bunch of footage of different cities, speeds it up, and then randomly labels the bad habits of the people being shown.

The rest of the story is just as original. The wishes, while somewhat standard in desire, are far from normal in execution. Every word that exits Elliot's mouth is twisted by the Devil into a hideous farce that will make you laugh so much you'll likely break something important to the continued functioning of your anatomy.

The humor is only helped by the acting talents of Fraser and Hurley. Fraser is likeable and vaguely goofy and flexible in his role. He has to deal with a lot of character changes due to the wishes and he handles it quite well. Elizabeth Hurley, despite my initial fears, performed more than adequately in the role of Lucifer. She was everything evil should be, especially likeable and tempting. I'm telling you right now that the woman looked good. They had her change into a new costume every few minutes of screen time and each one looked fantastic on her.

On top of all the Hurley-related lusciousness, the backgrounds of the scenes had a lot of neat hidden clues and references to the bible and/or other things in the film. Then there are the wishes, which are sheer madness.

If you want to think about yourself and learn deep truths of the universe, stay home and read something by Kant. Or some other dead person. If you want to laugh really hard at Brendan Fraser and stare at Elizabeth Hurley for an hour and a half, go see "Bedazzled."

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