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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Thursday, July 31, 2014 - Edition No 908 

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BACHELOR, THE

SYNOPSIS: Jimmie Shannon (Chris O’Donnell) has been dating Anne (Renee Zellweger) for three years; but he’s feeling uneasy about the prospect of giving up his bachelor status. When he finally proposes to Anne, he does it so badly it becomes an instant legend. She dumps him, and he realises he’s made a terrible mistake. But when Jimmie’s grandfather (Peter Ustinov) dies, he leaves an unusual will. In order to inherit a fortune and save the family company, Jimmie must marry before his 30th birthday - which happens to be in two days. After botching another proposal to Anne, he embarks on a desperate search for the right woman before time runs out.

"Someone, somewhere green-lighted this remake of the 1925 Buster Keaton film, Seven Chances (itself a remake of Personal from 1904). The trouble is The Bachelor feels like it belongs in 1925. It’s a mishmash of tired clichés, outdated social mores and melodrama. Without wanting to put too fine a point on it, any but the most hardened chauvinist will be troubled by the way women are portrayed in this film. The stereotypes run thick amidst the paper-thin plot. From commitment-shy males, through cranky old grandfathers to money hungry would-be wives, any attempt at subtlety or deeper characterisation is abandoned in the service of whacky hi-jinks. These seem to consist almost entirely of the various characters running around the city for one reason or another. The San Francisco locations look great, and the soundtrack is interesting; but this isn’t nearly enough. Chris O’Donnell is unconvincing as Jimmie, who for the most part comes off as a self-centred juvenile. Renee Zellweger doesn’t fare much better, but at least she’s believable as the object of Jimmie’s desire. Screen veterans Hal Holbrook, Peter Ustinov and Edward Asner chew a fair bit of scenery as does James Cromwell as a priest. But look out for Brooke Shields who steals the show. The Bachelor seems to be squarely aimed at the Valentine’s Day market. But if you’re looking for a romantic comedy this February 14, I suggest staying home, opening a bottle of champagne; renting As Good As It Gets is a far better option." David Edwards



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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 0

SOFCOM MOVIE TIMES

THE BACHELOR (M15+)

(US)

CAST: Chris O'Donnell, Renee Zellweger, Hal Holbrook, James Cromwell, Artie Lange, Edwardasner, Marley Shelton, Sarah Silverman, Stacy Edwards, Rebecca Cross, Jennifer Esposito, Katharine Towne, And Peter Ustinov

DIRECTOR: Gary Sinyor

PRODUCER: Lloyd Segan, Bing Howenstein

SCRIPT: Steve Cohen

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Simon Archer

EDITOR: Robert Reitano

MUSIC: David A. Hughes and John Murphy

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Craig Stearns

RUNNING TIME: 102 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: January 27, 2000







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