|Writers:||Harold Ramis, Peter Tolan, Larry Gelbart|
|20th Century Fox; PG-13; 105 minutes|
|Cast:||Brendan Fraser, Elizabeth Hurley, Frances O'Connor|
Goofy innocence and gleaming carnal knowledge come to a head in Bedazzled, a new comedy from the director of Groundhog Day and Analyze This that brings the Faust myth to modern-day San Francisco.
Brendan Fraser plays Elliot, a loser techie who secretly pines for a coworker (Frances O'Connor). One day a temptress in a red dress (Elizabeth Hurley) approaches Elliot and offers him earthly satisfaction—in exchange for his soul. Into this age-old tale, director Harold Ramis works sight gags, sharp one-liners, and plain old comedy. Wicked humor results.
Hapless Elliot receives seven wishes, landing him in one ridiculous situation after the next. Riches and power? Wham, he's a Colombian drug lord, flabbergasted by his own fluent Spanish.
With his soft rubbery features, Brendan Fraser is adept at clumsiness and befuddlement. He can register surprise with contagious efficiency. Costar Elizabeth Hurley makes a great devil (whether whisking Elliot away in a Lamborghini Diablo or being howled at on Bedazzled's first night in a high-profile protest against Hurley's continuing to model in the midst of an actors' association strike). Together their repartee is lively. The pair is far stronger than the background characters, but vivid source material and the strength of their performance prevents this from being a problem.