10 March 2000 | MickeyTo
Cut and Paste look at marriage.
In Robert Altman's The Player, studio executives demonstrate how a film idea can turn from one person's artistic vision into a shallow appeal to the masses. When I watch a film like The Bachelor, I often wonder what went on when that film was pitched.
Chris O'Donnell is perfectly cast as the likeable hunk who can't quite bring himself to commit to marriage. Life with girlfriend Anne is perfect because she doesn't seem to have any desire to take that extra step either. The day that she does start to think about 'the future' things take a nasty turn.
O'Donnell as Jimmy struggles through a proposal, simply because his peers tell him he must. Anne turns him down, of course, because his intentions are not honorable.
The plot thickens when Jimmy's ornery grandfather dies and leaves a 100 million dollar fortune to Jimmy, the only surviving relative. The catch is that our hero can only collect the money if he is married by his 30th birthday, which just happens to be in one day. A daring move, one of the lawyers utters something about this being 'Brewster's Millions.' A clever line, obviously written by someone brave enough to admit that this plot is a total rip off.
With the aid of his best friend, a few lawyers and a stoic priest (played by James Cromwell), he sets about trying to win the heart of Anne. When that doesn't succeed, Jimmy goes through the list of old girlfriends, most of whom are personality challenged, and some of whom do not remember him fondly.
Anyone with a weak heart might melt at the image of O'Donnell running through the streets of San Francisco with a bouquet of flowers, others would probably be wise just to pass. O'Donnell and Zellweger play well in this film, but like most cardboard comedies, there isn't much for the actors to do.
One might spot an attempt a some black humor, in the same vein as better films like Heathers and Election, but it failures to even come close to those. The Bachelor presents an opening thesis using wild mustangs to describe men. As each of his friends gets hitched, we see them running along side a herd of these horses, a lasso about to snag them. This joke is mildly clever, but sadly it is also the best thing about the film.