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Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Bedazzled (both versions)

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sex-related humor, language and some drug content
Profanity:Some strong language
Nudity/Sex:Sexual references and non-explicit situations
Alcohol/Drugs:Drinking, smoking
Violence/Scariness:Comic peril and violence
Diversity Issues:Diverse characters
Movie Release Date:2000
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sex-related humor, language and some drug content
Profanity: Some strong language
Nudity/Sex: Sexual references and non-explicit situations
Alcohol/Drugs: Drinking, smoking
Violence/Scariness: Comic peril and violence
Diversity Issues: Diverse characters
Movie Release Date: 2000

This week, both versions of the Faustian comedy Bedazzled are being released in one DVD and both are worth watching. The 1967 original, directed by Stanley Donen (“Singin’ in the Rain”) and starring British comedy duo Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, is the story of a short order cook (Moore) who sells his soul to the devil (Cook, who also wrote the screenplay) for the chance to be noticed by a beautiful waitress. He is certain that his seven wishes will give him all the opportunities he needs to persuade her to fall in love with him. But each one goes hilariously wrong. And of course the devil has more than one trick up his sleeve. The story is fine but what makes this movie memorable is what goes on around the edges — like the portrayal of the seven deadly sins (Raquel Welch appears briefly as Lust). The devil keeps busy — watch him scratching record and tearing the last page out of mystery novels as he chats with Moore’s character. And his answer to the question of how he became the devil is very well done.

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In the remake, directed by Harold Ramis (“Analyze This”), Brendan Fraser stars as the lowly cubicle worker who dreams of romance with a pretty co-worker (Frances O’Connor). The devil is a devilishly seductive Elizabeth Hurley. It is not nearly as witty as the first version, but it has superb comic performances and now and then a bit of ambition, like the understated portrayal of God, who shows up incognito to provide some support and guidance.

NOTE: Both with some mature material — recommended for mature teens and adults.

  • Laura

    Thanks for the recommendation. I notice that one of the Bedazzled movies is available for instant viewing on Netflix! I don’t know if you are a Netflix customer, but I have found that most of the instant viewing items are either awful or not suitable for family viewing. I’ll have to keep your book next to the computer and see if I can find some of the “classics” you recommend, on the Netflix instant viewing list.
    Sadly, I have been unable to persuade my family to watch “National Velvet.” The leader of the rebellion is my 13-year-old son. I can’t convince him he’d like it.

  • Nell Minow

    I’ve just added a note to make it clear that both versions of “Bedazzled” have some mature material. But I think clever, smart-alecky teens (and what other kind are there?) will appreciate them.
    I recommend you get “National Velvet” for yourself! At worst, you’ll get to watch a great movie and at best, once you tell him he can’t watch it, you’ll pique his interest!

  • Alicia

    I haven’t seen the new version, but caught the original for the first time about a year ago – it was really good, and so funny.

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