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The Bachelor

Starring: Chris O'Donnell, Renee Zellweger
Director: Gary Sinyor
Genre: Comedy
Year: 1999
Rating: 2 / 5

What can someone say about a comedy that fails to elicit any laughs? Even if the plot is tolerable, the acting is adequate, and the characters are likeable, a dearth of laughs will sink said movie before it leaves the harbor. The Bachelor suffers from just such an affliction, as the charms of Chris O'Donnell and the indescribably cute Renee Zellweger are not enough to save this floundering vessel. The movie is never so unbearable as to make the viewer want to leave, but, at its conclusion, nary a chuckle will have been heard. As laughter is quite essential in any good comedy, The Bachelor must be said to fail considerably in this department, making it a romance to avoid at all costs.

Jimmie Shannon (Chris O'Donnell) is a commitment-fearing bachelor who finally has met the woman of his dreams in Anne (Renee Zellweger). As the years tick by and all of his friends gradually get married, Jimmie is the only bachelor left standing. With pressure mounting on all sides, Jimmie decides to "shit or get off the pot," delivering to Anne, his girlfriend of three years, a proposal that will surely go down in history as the worst ever. Dumbfounded by his approach, Anne stops speaking to Jimmie, leaving him wondering at to their status for weeks to come.

At about this time, Jimmie's crusty grandfather dies, leaving Jimmie, his sole surviving heir, his entire "estate." Thinking this to be nothing more than belongings destined for a scrap heap, Jimmie is shocked to learn that his grandfather had amassed a fortune well in excess of $100 million. The chief stipulation: Jimmie must be married by his thirtieth birthday, or he is cut off completely! (Other conditions exist as well, but I see no need to bore the reader with details. The movie will take care of that) With his birthday a mere day away, Jimmie returns to Anne with another proposal, which she rejects again due to the fact that she correctly thinks him unready for marriage. Where to go now? How about every girl Jimmie has ever dated, not to mention a few hundred he has never met.

The Bachelor is unredeemable in so many ways, but I will try to deliver a little praise where appropriate. Chris O'Donnell is rather likeable as the eternal bachelor, though a poor script prevents him from showcasing any comic skill. The verdict is still out on whether or not he can carry a big-league comedy. Renee Zellweger is nearly as adorable as she is in Jerry Maguire, but again, the script did not afford her many moments to shine. James Cromwell is mildly amusing as the priest hired to bless Jimmie's impending union, though he spends most of the film making faces at our would-be hero. The ending is obviously predictable, and much of it is hinted at during the film's previews. The Bachelor ends up being something barely worthy of a rental, let alone a lifelong commitment.

Chris O'Donnell..........Jimmie
Renee Zellweger..........Anne
James Cromwell..........Priest
Hal Holbrook..........Gluckman
Ed Asner..........O'Dell

Certification: Rated PG-13.
Running Time: 90 minutes.

Additional Info: Internet Movie Database
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