The Bachelor (1999 with Chris O’Donnell and Renée Zellweger)

USA / 1999

Director: Gary Sinyor
Writer: Steve Cohen

Cast: Chris O’Donnell, Renée Zellweger, Artie Lange, Hal Hoolbrook, Ed Asner, James Cromwell, Peter Ustinov

Jimmie Shannon (Chris O’Donnell) is a confirmed bachelor but, as he approaches 30, he decides it’s time to marry and who better than long-term girlfriend Anne Arden (Renée Zellweger)? Unfortunately, his proposal is so clumsy, she dumps him, but there’s worse to come – his grandfather (Peter Ustinov) dies, leaving him $100m – on the condition he marries by the time he’s 30, remains faithful for at least ten years and produces a child. With just 30 hours to go, Jimmie has to woo Anne all over again. And to complicate matters, when his plight becomes public, thousands of white-gowned women clutching bouquets are on his trail.

Gary Sinyor’s romantic comedy is loosely based on Buster Keaton’s 1925 classic Seven Chances and includes the scene where Shannon, like Keaton, is pursued down the street by thousands of would-be brides in a classic sight-gag. But the rest is fairly straightforward, with the two leads misunderstanding each other until the last reel when true love wins through. Along the way, there are nice support performances from Ed Asner, Hal Holbrook, James Cromwell and, in particular, Artie Lange as Shannon’s best friend Marco, plus cameos from Mariah Carey, Jennifer Esposito and Brooke Shields as Shannon’s ex-girlfriends.

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