Dr Faustus may have sold his soul to the Devil and learned the hard way that it
doesn't really pay. Our friend Elliot Richards (Brendon Fraser) has nothing to
learn from him as he goes down the same way, but Devil dear couldn't think of
having so much fun with a hundred doctors. First some news from hell, though.
The Devil is actually a woman, and God is a man (guess that explains the dynamics
of their relationship).
Lovesick, oblivious, eager to please and above all a doormat - Elliot just doesn't
know how to have a good time, and the Devil knows she's in for some and, by the
way, so are we. She gives Elliot seven wishes (not eight or six, 'coz seven just
sounds right, like the seven vices), all for his 'piddly little soul'. Sounds
like a good deal, but Elliot's skepticism makes him lose one even before he accepts
it. We all know how hard it is to believe these days, don't we? Anyway he starts
out on his dream trip, if being a Colombian drug lord, then an ultra-sensitive
guy, an extra big NBA player (with an extra small willie), an articulate gay and
Abraham Lincoln on his assassination day sound like ingredients for one.
Quite a fun ride for us perverts, though, who just can't get over the Devil. By the way, this tale has been told earlier, on the celluloid I mean, somewhere back in the '70s. But there was no Liz Hurley to play the Devil then and they settled for a male one, so not many watched it. It was funny all right, with the typical British brand of humor (the Devil says he's running short of creativity and the last big idea of his was advertising). Big times demand bigger measures, so we have the Devil all spruced up for the twenty-first century, computers and all.
Truly, till Liz Hurley makes her appearance, Brendan Fraser seems really short on inspiration. Hurley brings with her confidence, attitude and, most of all, oomph, with innocence that only the Devil can possess. A combination such as this can have anyone on his knees. There is Frances O 'Connor playing Allison Gardner, Elliot's elusive love. Passable!
The movie has just the right director in Harold Ramis. His Analyze This was
pretty much along the same malicious lines. Also credited with writing National
Lampoon's Animal House, he seems to have a thing for the absurd.
Go ahead and get a taste of evil, but remember to leave it back when you come
out of the theater.