"A Search for a Suitable Sweetheart"
It is about time someone in Hollywood remade one of Buster Keaton’s great silent comedies. In fact, the only remake of one of Keaton’s masterpieces that comes to mind is 1948’s A SOUTHERN YANKEE with Red Skelton, a loose remake of Keaton’s 1927 classic THE GENERAL. Hence, it is a joy to see Warner Bros. remake Keaton’s 1925 comedy SEVEN CHANCES about a young man looking to get married so he can collect an inheritance. The new movie is titled THE BACHELOR and stars Chris O’Donnell of BATMAN AND ROBIN and Renee Zellweger of JERRY MCGUIRE.
O’Donnell stars as Jimmie Shannon, a 29-year-old bachelor with a longtime girlfriend named Ann (Renee Zellweger). As his friends get married off one by one, he realizes that his bachelor days are numbered. This causes him to be mindful and fearful of making a commitment. Still, Jimmie knows that Ann is the one for him, despite his reservations about marriage. He decides to propose to Ann, but first goes to his grandfather to discuss it. His grandfather, whose only concern is having his genetic line kept intact, tells Jimmie, “A man must sacrifice his freedom for his descendants.”
So, Jimmie attempts to propose to Ann, blundering the entire endeavor because of his fears about commitment. Ann, seeing his lack of heart, decides that Jimmie needs to “grow up” and remains distant. Not long afterward, Jimmie’s grandfather dies, leaving Jimmie a surprising $100 million dollar inheritance. The only catch is that Jimmie has to get married before his 30th birthday, which just happens to be the next day. He must also have children with his bride and remain under the same roof for at least ten years.
Though Ann loves Jimmie, she is torn by his poor view of commitment. Jimmie is heartbroken, yet keeps after her, entangling himself in even greater trouble with her. Soon, his financial advisors and his friend Marco (Artie Lange) are pressuring him to find someone else, before he loses the money and his business, and has to lay off all of his workers.
With a priest, a limousine and a tuxedo in tow, Jimmie frantically digs through pictures of old girlfriends, hoping to marry them before his 6:05 p.m. deadline, the exact time at which he was born. After many tries, and near-misses, Jimmie fails to find a bride. He gets rejected for many reasons, from the ethics of marrying for money instead of love, to the conditions imposed on the marriage by his grandfather’s will.
Realizing the lack of time remaining, Marco decides to find Jimmie’s bride for him, even if it means running an ad in the paper. Meanwhile, the priest takes Jimmie aside and talks to him about commitment and the wonderful things about marriage. The man tells Jimmie that he became a priest after his wife died. “Marriage was one of the best things I ever did,” the priest says, while telling Jimmie about his children and grandchildren. Jimmie, finally understanding the positive side of marriage, thinks of Ann, but realizes it may be too late. He must choose whether to embrace true love or merely find a bride before the deadline arrives.
Like RUNAWAY BRIDE, THE BACHELOR puts marriage in a good light. O’Donnell plays a seemingly honest guy who is concerned about tying the knot. Zellweger comes across as a woman with sincere feelings, merely wanting respect from the man she loves. The chemistry between the two is believable and, though the motivation of money plays a significant part, the story eventually encourages commitment and love. Despite the inclusion of several obscenities and profanities, along with some lewd remarks and crude references to certain body parts, THE BACHELOR is a funny, refreshing look at the right reasons for marriage.
(BB, Ro, CC, LL, AA, M) Mostly moral worldview with some romantic and Christian worldview elements including a mostly positive, faithful view of marriage, characters make decisions based on love & emotions, & main character gets advice on commitment & love from a priest, who is viewed in a good light; 19 obscenities, 6 profanities & several lewd remarks & references; no sex but reference to main character’s sexual relationship; no nudity but woman shown in lingerie; alcohol use & abuse including drunkenness; and, greed rebuked.
In THE BACHELOR, Chris O’Donnell stars as Jimmie, a young man who decides to marry his longtime girlfriend Ann, played by Renee Zellweger. Jimmie fears commitment, however, and Ann tells him he needs to grow up. When Jimmie’s grandfather dies, he leaves him with a $100 million dollar inheritance, but only if he gets married before his next birthday, which just happens to be the following day. Jimmie is thus faced with finding a bride before it is too late. Meanwhile, a priest talks to Jimmie about marriage. The man became a priest after his wife died. “Marriage was one of the best things I ever did,” the priest says, while telling Jimmie about his grandchildren. Jimmie finally understands the positive side of marriage, but it may be too late.
Like RUNAWAY BRIDE, the institution of marriage is promoted, not pelted, in THE BACHELOR. It’s a funny, charming movie with no sex. Although viewers should exercise caution due to several obscenities, profanities, lewd remarks, and lewd references, the movie has a positive outlook on marrying the right person for the right reasons, a refreshing attitude compared to most of the other romantic comedies Hollywood is making