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Site created 12/15/97.

review added: 4/25/00

The Bachelor
1999 (2000) - New Line

review by Erin Lindsey of The Digital Bits

Enhanced for 16x9 TVs

The Bachelor Film Rating: D

Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): A/A/C-

Specs and Features

102 mins, PG-13, letterboxed widescreen (1.85:1), 16x9 enhanced, full frame (1.33:1), single-sided, dual-layered, Snapper case packaging, cast and crew bios, theatrical trailer, hidden commercial for, DVD-ROM access (script-to-screen, website, postcards, games and others), film-themed menu screens, scene access (30 chapters), languages: English (DD 5.1 & 2.0), subtitles: English, Closed Captioned

"I'm not interested in your goddamn vagina. I just want to marry you."

When Todd and Bill first approached me to write a review on The Digital Bits, I thought, "Cool. Now I can review all my favorite movies that I never had a chance to watch on DVD." Films like Born on the Fourth of July, Under Siege and Goodfellas. You see, for a girl, my taste in film runs atypically masculine. But of course, my first assignment was to write a review for the Chris O'Donnell vehicle The Bachelor. Just like men to give a girl a stereotypical chick flick.

I dreaded popping this thing into the player. I had visions of sappy dialogue and silly chance encounters dancing in my little head. I steered away from this thing when it was in theaters on purpose. I saw the trailer, and it looked like something I wouldn't want to waste my time on. Fate has an ugly way about it. Somehow, in the back of my mind, I knew it would be back to haunt me. So, I accepted the punish… er, assignment. And just in case, had my trusty trashcan nearby if I needed to barf. Now, I know what most of you are thinking - "Erin, you didn't give it a chance." Oh, believe me... I did. Part of me wanted to believe that maybe, just maybe, The Bachelor would turn out to be the surprise hit of the year, that nobody saw in the theatres. I would be the one who would discover the true art of it - a hidden gem revealed. I'm sad to say that moment never arose when watching the screen. To be fair, several moments did arise. Moments when thoughts popped into my head like: "Are there really men out in this world that are this stupid?" If so, slap my ass and call me single.

Here's the story (if we may be so bold). Basically, O'Donnell is the last of his kind: an unmarried man in a married world. When we first see him, he and his little pack of friends wallow in their bachelorhood, modeling themselves after wild animals. But slowly, one by one, his friends fall. Now O'Donnell, he's out and proud about the fact that he's a bachelor. However, one fateful day he meets Renee Zellweger and falls in movie love (you know the type - where after 3 years they still act like it's their second month). Everything is great until... dum-dum-dum... she catches the floral bouquet at the latest wedding. Of course, we all know what that means. Yep, they have to get married. At least that's the case in the cliché-riddled world of writer Steve Cohen. After O'Donnell bombs his "can't miss" proposal attempt (once again, how could anybody be that stupid?), Zellweger turns him down flat and heads out of town on assignment. Things go from bad to worse after O'Donnell's grandfather (Peter Ustinov) dies. Apparently, his grandfather had an estate worth 100 million dollars (including a wealth of business that keep the town's economy afloat) and he's the sole heir. The only catch is, he has to get hitched by ten minutes after 6 PM on his 30th birthday... which is just 24 hours away. Everything in his life and the lives of his friends and family are riding on him getting married. Here's where there should have been some really funny stuff inserted. But instead of being funny, it all turns out to be quite cliché.

As you can tell, if I had one word to sum up this film, it's "cliché". Can you get any more cliché than men who model themselves after certain ferocious animals, like wild mustangs and Bengal tigers, in order to show their independence from "the old ball and chain" (an actual term used twice in the film)? That is until they are all rounded up, captured and taken away by the mean old women, who's only mission in life is to make men marry them and turn them into... oh, I don't know… HUMAN BEINGS! Could I have some more cliché, please? Okay. Here's some: women uncontrollably stuff their face when the are upset. Latin men always make you feel better about a broken relationship, and if you ever choose to argue in a restaurant, everyone will stop what they're doing and stare right at you. Because of all the cliches, The Bachelor will ultimately fail to appeal to women (and most likely men as well). That's a shame, because I think that this type of romantic comedy is supposed to be geared toward women in the first place.

Do men really equate themselves with a particular animal? I don't really know any men who refer to themselves as a Bengal tiger or a Mustang, but would I know one if I saw one? Is this something that just goes on in the private spaces of a man's mind? Okay, let's be honest here... why are these men comparing themselves to the likes of huge, fearless beasts? Are they really that full of themselves that they think they have what it takes to be a friggin' wolf? The answer, in my mind, is no, no, no. Hhmmm... a gerbil seems more likely. Yes, a gerbil definitely fits these gentlemen more appropriately. But don't get me wrong. I would love to meet a man who thinks he's a Bengal tiger. Reeeoooar.

All the hype you have been reading on The Bits is true - New Line does some nice DVDs. As much as I hated this film, on DVD it wasn't such heartache to expose myself too. Thankfully, it's light in the way of extras, so I didn't have to sacrifice too much of my time. But the video and audio presentation is quite nice. The colors on this disc are delicious. The picture is presented in both full frame and widescreen format (you choose at the start) and both look great. There's nothing bad to say at all - it's just a great image. The sound is also pretty impressive. It's a Dolby Digital 5.1 track with a 2.0 version in reserve, and they sound as full as you could expect in a film like this. The audio comes more alive in the crowd scenes at the end, and it works.

The extras, like I said, are light and that's great. There's a trailer, a commercial for and some DVD-ROM stuff (most notable is a script-to-screen option). The only beef I have with this disc at all is an obvious sound edit made in a close-up of O'Donnell, when you clearly see that he's saying the word (cover your eyes) cocksucker and what comes out is scum sucker. Sure it's a better choice, but it could have been made to be less obvious.

If you're looking for a flick to impress that first date with your knowledge and sensitivity towards women, don't pick this one and make an ass out of yourself. Save this to watch with all your guy friends to educate yourself on what NOT to do to a woman. And ladies... if it's you that picked this one up, watch it with your man and if he starts to roar like a tiger or whiney like a horse, just laugh to yourself and hope he isn't really too much of an ass (donkey that is).

Erin Lindsey

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