- Actors: Chris O'Donnell, Renée Zellweger, Artie Lange, Edward Asner, Hal Holbrook
- Directors: Gary Sinyor
- Writers: Clyde Bruckman, Jean C. Havez, Joseph A. Mitchell, Roi Cooper Megrue, Steve Cohen
- Producers: Chris O'Donnell, Bing Howenstein
- Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Full Screen, Widescreen, NTSC
- Language: English
- Subtitles: English
- Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
- Number of discs: 1
- MPAA Rating:
- Studio: Universal Music Group
- Release Date: Jan. 8 2002
- Run Time: 101 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 51 customer reviews
- ASIN: 0780630122
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #21,412 in Movies & TV Shows (See Top 100 in Movies & TV Shows)
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The Bachelor (Widescreen/Full Screen)
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The Bachelor got critically slammed when it played in theaters, probably because reviewers couldn't help comparing it with the movie on which it's based, the brilliant Buster Keaton comedy Seven Chances. But on its own terms, The Bachelor is a modest and enjoyable picture about Jimmie (Chris O'Donnell), a happily single young man who suddenly gets an ultimatum from his grandfather's will: marry by his 30th birthday or lose an inheritance of $100 million. This is revealed the day before that very birthday. Unfortunately, Jimmie had already proposed to his girlfriend Anne (Renee Zellweger) and been turned down; she can see in his eyes that he isn't ready to get married and refuses to accept him until he is. So Jimmie needs to find a bride--fast. Though the commitment-shy man is a hoary cliché, The Bachelor successfully exaggerates Jimmie's fears to comic proportions. O'Donnell is his usual affable self, but it's Zellweger who seizes every scene she's in and makes something really enjoyable out it. The movie's greatest weakness is that she's such a small part of the second half. Still, there's good supporting performances from Hal Holbrook, Ed Asner, James Cromwell, and Marley Shelton (as Zellweger's sister), and Peter Ustinov and Brooke Shields both have very funny scenes. The Bachelor skirts some dangerously chauvinistic territory at times, but by and large it's a pleasant comedy with some genuine good humor. --Bret Fetzer
Top customer reviews
O'Donnell plays Jimmie Shannon, a young man who has watched all his friends fall out of circulation one by one. Luckily, he has found Anne (Renée Zellweger, One True Thing), the true yin to his yang. At first she is like him, in no rush to enter a committed relationship. But after three years he begins to sense that their relationship has reached a level where he has to ask.
Adding to the pressure is the news that his eccentric grandfather has just died and willed his entire fortune ($100 million) to Jimmie on the proviso that the young man marry by 6:05 on his 30th birthday. That happens to be tomorrow. When he blows the wedding proposal to Anne, he finds himself desperately trying to find a bride in a short 24 hours.
The whole plot is hideously contrived, implausible, and hackneyed. Even Jimmie's mentor O'Dell (Hal Holbrook) exclaims, "What is this? Brewster's Millions?" Yes, it does sound like the 1985 Richard Pryor film, but it is not nearly as clever. Everything in The Bachelor feels forced, as if even the actors can not believe the silly things they are asked to do.
First and foremost, I find it difficult to believe that any guy would have second thoughts about marrying Zellweger. I mean, my gosh, look at her! The girl is Venus on a half shell. Unless she has some hidden flaw or horrible bad habit that we never see, there is nothing to convince us that O'Donnell wouldn't jump at the chance to marry her.
And yet, fail he does, and so he goes on his wife quest, albeit with a heavy heart. This is where the entire romantic nature of the film falls apart. While Jimmie drives around the city (priest in tow) revisiting his past loves, I can no longer accept that he loves Anne. Her love for him remains constant, however, and we only sympathize with her.
At one point he is asked what he is looking for in a wife. Does he begin to extol the virtues of his lost love? No. He doesn't get past shallow concerns like physical appearance. By the end of the movie, we no longer want Anne to return to Jimmie. In short, he doesn't really deserve her.
The acting in The Bachelor is mediocre. O'Donnell is unexciting, and his sidekick Marco (Artie Lange, "The Norm Show") is not much better. James Cromwell is wasted in the roll of the priest. Even Zellweger is not much more than a pretty face in this movie, although she is clearly the most interesting character. The best performances in the movie are turned in by Hollbrook and Ed Asner, who act as a mentors for Jimmie. Both the veteran actors give us something worth watching.
Brooke Shields (television's "Suddenly Susan") and singer Mariah Carey make cameo appearances as two of Jimmie's numerous ex-girlfriends.
For those interested in movie trivia, The Bachelor is a remake of Buster Keaton's classic silent film Seven Chances.
It's a terribly familiar plot, and it's put across with increasing desperation and sentimentality. Even a wonderful cast can't salvage the mess. O'Donell is all charm, no depth. Zellwegger makes every word and every emotion feel real, but it's as if she's in a different, better movie. Marley Shelton, a rising star, scores points as Zellwegger's supportive sister, while Ed Asner and Hal Holbrook chew the scenery as O'Donnell's friends/advisers, and James Cromwell treads weater (barely hiding his embarrassment) as a priest who sticks with O'Donnellm in case he finds Mrs. Right.
Director Gary Sinyor tries every old trick in the book, from quick cuts to dream sequences, from cameos to blaring songs. Too bad Sinyor didn't let the story do the job.
As it stands, any marriage between The Bachelor and its audience is bound to be brief and movie-goers can cite a premeditated overdose of schmaltz for the inevitable break-up.
For women, on the other hand, the institution of marriage is often thought of in fairy-talesque ways. The prince marries the princess and they live happily ever after. The gentleman chooses the most romantic locale and the most perfect day to pop the question. Then, when he does ask for her hand in marriage, he does it with a poetic eloquence that would rival Keats.
The present movie pokes fun @ both men and women for their pre-conceived notions about marriage. Chris O'Donnell plays a happy-go-lucky independent male who has not yet hit 30. He has seen his friends get "picked off" one-by-one by the marital epidemic.
Meanwhile, the ultra-adorable Renee Zelwegger plays a young woman who has been bred on all the popular fiction about how "perfect" everything will be when she gets married. She's also expecting a breathtakingly perfect evening in which her man will offer her the rest of his life.
As you have probably guessed, these two protaganists fall in love but their different viewpoints cause a great deal of friction. The result is nothing short of a hilarious satire on the differences in how men & women look over a lifelong bond.
There are some zany twists & turns in the plot, but that is the main gist of the storyline. If you like Romantic comedies, this one is a dandy. I'd recommend this film for anyone who has ever been married. And, if you've never been married......I'd recommend this DVD even more!
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Jimmie Shannon (Chris O'Donnell), an unabashed bachelor asks his girlfriend Anne (Renee Zellweger) to marry him.Read more
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