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Movie Review

Jimmie Shannon is a confirmed bachelor who enjoys his freedom. One by one his friends all get married. Although he has a special woman in his life, Anne, he's too fond of bachelorhood to follow their lead. He does finally get around to popping the question over a romantic dinner, but he botches it. Anne knows his heart isn't in it. Then his eccentric grandfather dies, and a videotaped will stipulates that Jimmie can't inherit the $100 million estate unless he, 1) gets married by 6:05 p.m. on his 30th birthday (only two days away), 2) has children, 3) makes the marriage last at least 10 years, and 4) stays close to his bride for the duration (he can only be apart from her one day a month). Jimmie's desperate to fulfill all the conditions so he re-asks Anne. She refuses. Afraid he may lose his inheritance, he, accompanied by a priest and a friend, travel around the city hoping to marry a past girlfriend. They all decline. But when his story gets front-page newspaper attention, hundreds of prospective brides turn up at the church, hoping to be the one chosen. Alas, Jimmie realizes he truly loves Anne, and time is running out.

Positive Elements: In the end, marriage is extolled as a positive institution (the priest explains to Jimmie the purpose and joy of marriage), but for much of the film a convenience-marriage for the sake of money appears justified. Jimmie realizes that he has a responsibility to his employees (who would lose their jobs if he loses his inheritence). The parents of Anne's best friend have a strong marriage, and although the couple gets carried away with public displays of affection, their relationship leaves the impression that lasting marriage is possible.

Spiritual Content: For most of the movie the priest is portrayed as a dimwit, ready to perform the marriage ceremony for Jimmy and anyone that might say yes. But ultimately, this man of the cloth is the one that sets the record straight regarding the importance of matrimony. When the prospective brides turn out in mass at the church, they demand to know the criteria Jimmie will use to pick one of them. Weight? Looks? Language? When one prospect asks, "Is religion a criteria?," Jimmie responds, "Absolutely not!"

Sexual Content: It's noteworthy that The Bachelor does not contain any sex scenes or nudity (although plenty of cleavage is displayed among those hopefully decked out in bridal gowns). Also, there is no indication that Anne and Jimmie have been sexually involved. When Jimmie asks Ilana to marry him, she declines by saying their relationship was not deep enough ("we screwed a couple times"). A lot is made about how the giving of flowers is really a symbolic giving of the "plant's vagina." When a heavy-set woman asks at the church whether weight is a criteria in Jimmie's decision, he responds that he wants a woman under 150 pounds. The prospective bride grabs her breasts, saying small women don't come as well endowed. Another bridal prospect, when realizing she would not be chosen, exclaims, "Thank God I'm bisexual."

Violent Content: Hundreds of spurned, prospective brides unsuccessfully chase Jimmie (presumably to hurt him in some way). A few brides fight (pulling, not punching) each other over who would make the best bride.

Crude or Profane Language: The s-word and f-word are used close to a dozen times. "Godd--n" and other offensive uses of God's name get a bit of a workout as well. A vulgar expression for masturbation is spoken once.

Drug and Alcohol Content: Champagne is consumed at dinner. Anne and her best friend go out drinking at a salsa club. Anne gets inebriated. A cigar is smoked.

Summary: If you're aboard an aircraft someday which offers this film, it might be worthwhile renting the headset. A well-edited version—one excising the problematic language—could be entertaining. As it is, rampant profanity breaks up any hopes of a happy marriage for The Bachelor.

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Chris O'Donnell as Jimmie Shannon; Renée Zellweger as Anne; Hal Holbrook as O'Dell; James Cromwell as the priest; Peter Ustinov as Grandad; Mariah Carey as Ilana; Brooke Shields as Buckley


Gary Sinyor ( )


New Line Cinema



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