Everyone’s mad at Elizabeth Hurley because she scabbed the Screen Actors Guild, SAG, by shooting an Estée Lauder ad during their strike.
“I didn’t intentionally drop trou on my industry peers; I didn’t even know there was a strike on,” said Liz, “I thought it was strictly coincidence and extraordinary good fortune that I was the only commercial actor working in the western world – a world which, evidently, revolves around me.”
“Besides,” added Liz, “in general, I’m against SAG, particularly when it comes to me bubbies.”
There are 6.2 billion souls in Bedazzled and none of them was wasted in the writing and directing of this flick but plenty, I suspect, were offered up in sacrifice.
There’s no shortage of big comedy names left at this Satanic altar; Bedazzled is directed by Harold Ramis, Mr. Caddyshack and Groundhog Day himself, and scripted by Larry Gelbart, the M*A*S*H guy, who’s gone from Hawkeye to Tin Ear.
Scabrous Liz is scorchingly bad as a saucy Beelzebub with a tendency to go Tammy Faye on eyeliner. She doesn’t walk, she “hops.” Maybe the flaps are up on her helium-filled Beelzeboobies! Somebody tether Liz to the set! Are there ants in your pants, Liz, and if so, what’s their hurry?
Liz delivers on the one-note performance this movie calls for. When she cries it makes me want to scream. The feeling is unavoidable that you’re watching not acting, but the work of a clever cinematographer who pasted together hundreds of Lauder print ads and flipped the pages rapidly to simulate animation.
Lest I forget, Brendan Frazer is also in this movie reminding us what a gifted comic talent he is, especially when the material is right – and as soon as that happens I hope he lets us know. Nothing sticks a fork in Gods & Monsters better than Bedazzled, Brendan. Fortunately, Brendan called on his sense-memory from The Mummy to excavate a thoroughly plundered Liz entombed beneath a pyramid of cosmetics and hair care products.
Bedazzled is a remake of an old Dudley Moore movie, but in this case “Dudley” is short for “deadly dull.” And Moore of it.
Brendan is an earnest geek who gets a crush on a coworker. “Dear God,” says he, “I’d give anything to have that girl in my life.” Up pops Scab Queen Liz Hurley in a tight red dress to the tune of “Wild Thing.” Yeah, she’s bad to the bone, all right. “I can make the whole world love you,” Liz tells Brendan, “even as the whole Guild hates me.”
When Liz whispers into Brendan’s ear, “I’m the Devil,” my eyes started rolling so fast they rolled right off my nose, out of the theater, and over to the parking lot until they realized they forgot their keys.
Liz grants Brendan seven wishes, none of which, thankfully, are for seven more wishes or a sequel.
Bedazzled is chocked full of weak, chuckle-resistant Devil cracks, like the license plate on Liz’s ride which coincidentally sums up this movie: “BAD 1.” “I’ve got people to condemn to an eternity of fiery torment,” says Liz, “or at least 100 minutes plus previews.”
Just don’t get Satan’s knickers in a wad, even though the last time Liz’s knickers got wadded it was to stuff her brassiere in fifth grade. Adds former beau Hugh Grant: “Make no mistake: Liz spells ‘sex’ S-A-K-S.”
Bedazzled leaves me Bemused, Bewildered and Bamboozled.
Photos Copyright ©2000 20th Century Fox