The Bachelor

"Weak"

The Bachelor Review


You know something is just not right about a movie when even the most insignificant supporting characters have more charisma and personality than the leads.

Such is the case with "The Bachelor," a comedy about an heir to a $100 million fortune who has 24 hours to get married or be cut off without a dime.

Chris O'Donnell (Robin in the recent "Batman" movies) is said heir, a commitment-o-phobe from central casting named Jimmy whose persnickety, cantankerous grandfather (Peter Ustinov) kicks the bucket and reveals in his videotaped will that -- surprise! -- he's a millionaire. But grandpa is also obsessed with begetting a family legacy and decrees that Jimmy, his soul heir, gets zip unless he's married by his 30th birthday. Unfortunately grandpa has the bad timing to die two days before the deadline.

Cast wildly against type, Ustinov is the one great joy of this movie as he affects a slight Southern drawl, delighting in his irascibility as he snaps at O'Donnell through his ever-present bullhorn: "Procreate!"

Jimmy has a girlfriend named Anne, played by "Jerry Maguire" darling Renee Zellweger. And he loves her -- or so we're told. Zellweger only has half a dozen speaking lines in the first 45 minutes of the movie and the picture never even tries to establish a tangible romance between them. It expects the audience to just take it as read that they're perfect for each other because she's smiles so cutely when O'Donnell turns on his 20-watt charm.

We're also told Anne is easygoing about their relationship, so it's especially odd when she becomes broken hearted by his sudden, dispassionate and completely flubbed proposal ("You win," he says, pushing a ring toward her).

Operating on a deadline -- and on the assumption that Anne has run off to Europe and cannot be wooed -- Jimmy burns through a checklist of old girlfriends who have enough self-esteem to turn him down.

All of them are played by actresses who easily outshine O'Donnell in their singular scenes together. Examples: 1) Glass-shattering pop star and screen rookie Mariah Carey as an opera singer (dubbed, ironically) who tells him "All I remember about you is that you looked pretty good with your shirt off. But so do I." 2) Brooke Shields, hilarious as a chain-smoking gold-digger who bails out just before an "I do" when she finds out one of the caveats of the will is bearing Jimmy's children.

Other supporting players that make O'Donnell and Zellweger look bad: Hal Holbrook and Edward Asner as grandpa's frisky friends who aid Jimmy in his search for a bride, the criminally under-utilized James Cromwell ("Babe," "L.A. Confidential") as an on-call priest, and Nicholas Pryor and Maree Cheatham as Anne's eternally randy and giddy-in-love parents.

A remake of "Seven Chances," a 1925 slapstick shortie featuring silent comedy master Buster Keaton, "The Bachelor" perks up a bit when Jimmy's best friend (obnoxious Artie Lange of "Mad TV") calls the newspaper and lands the groom-in-waiting and his potential inheritance on the front page, leading to a madcap, taffeta stampede of willing brides. O'Donnell is chased up and down the hills of San Francisco by hundreds of them.

But even then director Gary Sinyor can't overcome the underwhelming and under-written leads or the inept, distracting and unnecessary bachelorhood-wild mustangs analogy that runs willy-nilly through the picture, all the way up until Anne caves in to one of those weak mea culpa, I-really-do-love-you speeches reluctant men always give at the end of simpleton romantic comedies.

It's a pity. The brilliance of Buster Keaton deserves a better homage.



The Bachelor

Facts and Figures

Run time: 101 mins

In Theaters: Friday 5th November 1999

Box Office Worldwide: $36.9M

Budget: $51M

Distributed by: WARNER BROTHERS PICTURES

Production compaines: George Street Pictures, The Lloyd Segan Company

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 9%
Fresh: 6 Rotten: 61

IMDB: 5.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Jimmie Shannon, as Anne Arden, as Marco, as Roy O'Dell, as Sid Gluckman, as The Priest, as Natalie Arden, as Grandad James Shannon, as Daphne, Jason Aaron Baca as Groomsmen #3

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

La La Land Movie Review

La La Land Movie Review

After storming awards season with Whiplash two years ago, writer-director Damien Chazelle returns with something...

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...

Silence Movie Review

Silence Movie Review

Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like...

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like....

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly...

Advertisement
Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...

Paterson Movie Review

Paterson Movie Review

Unpredictable filmmaker Jim Jarmusch ricochets from his artful vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive into...

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

At 80 years old, British filmmaker Ken Loach won his second Cannes Film Festival with...

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the...

Passengers Movie Review

Passengers Movie Review

Anchored by the almost ridiculously engaging Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, this sci-fi movie travels...

Neruda Movie Review

Neruda Movie Review

Clever Chilean director Pablo Larrain (who also directed Natalie Portman's Jackie) takes on the Nobel-winning...

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

The Eagle Huntress Movie Review

Narrated by Daisy Ridley (The Force Awakens), this documentary is one of the most gripping...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.