The Bachelor got critically slammed when it played in cinemas, 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 US dollars. 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 clichè, 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 humour. --Bret Fetzer, Amazon.com
Jimmy Shannon (Chris O'Donnell) is a confirmed bachelor with a long line of ex-girlfriends until he meets photographer Anne (Renée Zellweger). Smitten, Jimmy finds himself considering marriage for the first time - but his bungled proposal falls unexpectedly flat when Anne announces that she is off to Beijing for an assignment. Jimmy then discovers that his grandfather has died and bequeathed him $100 million - on condition that he is married by his thirtieth birthday. As Jimmy is due to turn thirty at 6.05 pm the next day, the need to wed suddenly takes on a new urgency, and he sets out to find himself a bride!