The Bachelor (New Line Cinema) is about one thing. Brides, brides, and more brides. And a bachelor.
The movie is the typical boy meets girl, falls in love with her,loses her and tries to win her back theme. The Bachelor has a slight twist, though. There are flowers, birds, romantic music and enough sappy lines to make you think this is your average, cheesy date movie. However, behind the all the hoopla, there’s actually a sweet and comical story.
Take the groom. Confirmed bachelor Jimmie Shannon (Chris O’Donnell, Scent of a Woman) realizes all his friends have walked down the aisle except him. So, he decides finally to pop the question to long-time girlfriend Anne (Renee Zellweger, Jerry Maguire). After a horrible proposal to Anne, Jimmie retains his bachelor status and ponders over whether he is truly ready for marriage.
In the meantime, his grandfather passes away and leaves him $100 million, but there is one catch. Jimmie must find a bride and marry her before his 30th birthday, which happens to be within 24 hours. If he doesn’t succeed, he will lose the money, and his family’s business will bebought out.
At this point, the comedy comes into play. On a quest to save his family’s company from bankruptcy and inherit his grandfather’s fortune, Jimmie ventures out on a wild-goose chase to track down a bride. Believing that he has lost Anne forever, he looks up all of his old flames and hopes that one will accept his proposal.
Among the famous women playing his ex-girlfriends are Mariah Carey and Brooke Shields. Shields’ performance as a snotty well-to-do ex-debutante is funny and entertaining. Carey, who stars as an opera singer, is simply flat. She may be able to sing high notes, but in this movie she is completely off-key.
With time running out, Jimmie is ready to give up until his friend decides to put an ad in the newspaper that mentions the money he will inherit if Jimmie marries. Enter the brides. From all over town, herds of women flock to the church, hoping to be the lucky one.
Jimmie must choose between the plethora of women, but, remember, this is a romantic comedy, and these always have happy endings, so don’t count Anne out of the picture yet. With plenty of laughter, a stellar cast and a hilarious scene with 500 brides chasing Jimmie down the streets of San Francisco, The Bachelor captures the fear of commitment and taking the big plunge in a comical way that audiences are sure to enjoy.
The Bachelor is playing in theaters.
This article appeared in the November 8, 1999 issue of the Hatchet.