Making the Grades
Everyone knows Elliot Richards (Brendan Fraser). A certifiable computer geek in the eyes of his coworkers in the technical support department of a large computer corporation, they all avoid the socially dysfunctional Elliot for fear he will glom onto them like a virus on a hard drive.
Eager for friends, Elliot follows the gang to a local bar, where he bumps into the enchanting Alison (Frances O'Connor), a girl from another department. While he distinctly remembers a brief encounter with Alison from a few years earlier, she has no clear recollection of ever having met before. After a few word of polite conversation, she leaves Elliot standing alone. Desperate, Elliot tells God that he would do anything for Alison's attention.
But it appears Elliot's impromptu prayer reached the wrong number. Instead of an angelic response, Elliot meets a sultry woman in a red dress who claims to be the Devil (played by Elizabeth Hurley). A few visual tricks convince Elliot she's for real, and moments later he is in her office (located in the back of a wild nightclub) being presented with a visualization of what his life could be like with Alison if he agrees to sign the Devil's thick contract. With a simple signature, Elliot trades his soul for seven devilish wishes.
Bedazzled certainly illustrates the pitfalls of getting exactly what you wish for. After Elliot wishes to be rich, powerful and married to Alison, the Devil makes him a Colombian drug lord with Alison as a wandering wife. Another wish to be athletic and popular turns Elliot into a hulking basketball player whom Alison (an aggressive sports journalist in this scenario) rejects after a locker room glimpse of his relatively small genitals. Other wishes leave him too sensitive (Alison wants a tougher man) or well educated but homosexual.
Although Bedazzled attempts to teach lessons on self-acceptance and the evils of selfishness, the sexual innuendo, comedy, and Hurley's revealing costumes overwhelm the 11th hour preaching. As well, parents concerned about lighthearted Satanic portrayals will likely want to put Bedazzled on the eternal back burner.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Bedazzled.
Have you ever received something you wished for only to discover it wasn’t what you expected?
Do you know anyone who is as socially inept as Elliot? Could Elliot’s coworkers have done to anything to make him feel more accepted? Were there things Elliot could have done to improve his situation? Can feeling accepted give a person more self-confidence?