Volume 93, Issue 40
Wednesday, November 10, 1999
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Bachelor should've been left at the alter
Photo by Mark Fellman
AFTER SIX YEARS OF LIVING TOGETHER, ROBIN DECIDED IT WAS TIME FOR HIM AND BATMAN TO TAKE THEIR RELATIONSHIP TO THE NEXT LEVEL. Chris O'Donnell stars in The Bachelor, another crappy movie in no way related to Batman.
By Anthony Turow
Chris O'Donnell's new (and I use this term lightly) comedy, The Bachelor, is one of the most banal films to grace the movie screen in quite some time.
The only thing worse than a movie that plainly sucks, is a movie that plainly sucks and yet takes itself too seriously to realize it. Simply put, this movie is painful. Big time.
The Bachelor is a remake of a Buster Keaton film called Seven Chances. While I haven't seen the original I can only presume it must have been better than this. A root canal would be better than this.
The plot involves O'Donnell's character, Jimmie, whose recently deceased uncle is prepared to leave him $100 million if he's married by his 30th birthday. One of the conditions is that he has to stay married for 10 years and conceive a child by year five. An additional subplot involves losing ownership of the pool table factory where he and his friends work if he doesn't accomplish this task. Very stirring stuff.
As uninspired as Steve Cohen's script is, it's still a shame the actors seem to be going through the paces just to pick up a paycheck. Renée Zellweger, excellent in Jerry Maguire, mails in her performance. Her non-existent chemistry with O'Donnell makes one wonder if they were even on speaking terms when the cameras weren't rolling.
In spite of its lame script, the film could have been elevated to bearable if it had a genuine comedic star at the centre. If Jim Carrey were to have taken the lead, it's a safe bet the movie would have had more energy.
A film like this hinges on the ability of the leading man to take the audience into highly implausible situations without alienating them in the process. If the situation is larger than life, than the leading man should be too.
Sadly, O'Donnell simply comes across as boring and dull. He's also extremely hard-pressed to pull off some of the film's physical gags Chris my boy, you're as wooden as they come.
If there are some positives here, it's in the mildly amusing cameos. Brooke Shields is entertaining as a materialistic girl dying to see the money. Watching her makes one wish they would have commissioned rewrites and beefed up her part her meagre screen time constitutes some of the only laughs in the movie. Mariah Carey is also decent as one of O'Donnell's old girlfriends. She plays her role as a singer rather obviously, as if giving a sly wink to the audience, letting them in on the none too subtle joke.
Unfortunately, neither Carey nor Shields are given enough screen time to come even remotely close to saving this stinker of a movie they have throw away roles in what amounts to a poorly made, uninspired film.
In the end it's clear O'Donnell doesn't even come close to Michael Keaton, much less Buster and that he should have left comedy to someone who can actually be funny.
Copyright © The Gazette 1999