A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that playful sexual innuendo is a major component of this movie. There are lots of references to penis size, some comic depiction of homosexuality, and scenes in which characters flash their private parts off camera. Many of the women are seen in tight, revealing clothing throughout, including the female “devil” who displays her “attributes” in dozens of clinging, scanty outfits. A couple of action sequences are played for humor with gunplay, car crashes, and falls that result in no injury or death. Hell is depicted as a vast party scene complete with fire and brimstone. There’s occasional swearing and potty language as well as some social drinking. One series of scenes finds the hero unwittingly involved in cocaine distribution in South America.
What's the story?
Brendan Fraser is one of the most versatile actors around, which makes him a perfect choice for the role of Elliot, a nerdy guy who longs for the beautiful Allison. But after four years working in the same firm, he has managed to speak to her only once, and that was about the weather. When he whispers that he would give anything to have her, that is all the invitation that the devil (Elizabeth Hurley) needs to make him an offer he can't refuse -- seven wishes in exchange for his soul. But as anyone who has ever read a fairy tale knows, wishes are a tricky business. Elliot wishes to be rich, powerful, and married to Allison. He is instantly all three -- and a Colombian drug lord. And Allison hates him. Elliot stumbles his way through his wishes, each time adding in what he left out before only to find that he has created yet another loophole. He may be rich, smart, popular, sensitive, and well-endowed, but somehow it never works out the way he hoped.
Is it any good?
This movie may not leave you bedazzled, but it will leave you happy. The classic English comedy written in 1967 by Peter Cook and starring Cook and Dudley Moore has been Americanized; in other words, BEDAZZLED has less deadpan humor, sly wit, and existential comedy and more jokes about penis size. But it is still delicious fun.
Fraser is wonderful, almost unrecognizable as he moves from sensitive poet to basketball superstar. Hurley may not be up to the acting challenge, but she looks like a million bucks in a series of hilarous get-ups, and she has that most important attribute of a movie bad guy -- an English accent. The rest of the cast does not have much to do beyond wardrobe switches as they play different roles in each scenario, but Frances O'Connor (Allison) has a great smile and Orlando Jones (of The Replacements) has a couple of good moments. Gabriel Casseus makes a strong impression as someone who gives Elliot some good advice.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what wishes they would like to make, whether they would make them if they had a chance, and what the Devil means when she says that you don't have to look very far for Heaven and Hell. Ask kids what they think a soul is, and whether it can be sold.
What did Elliot learn from his mistakes? Why was it so hard for him to be likeable and to see how others perceived him at the beginning of the movie? How was he different after the wishes? Was the ending what they expected?
- In theaters: October 20, 2000
- On DVD or streaming: April 15, 2003
- Cast: Brendan Fraser, Elizabeth Hurley, Frances O'Connor
- Director: Harold Ramis
- Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 93 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: sex-related humor, language and some drug content.
- Last updated: September 21, 2019
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