Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Movies made-up of comedy sketches are clearly tough things to make fly. Just look at Amazon Women On The Moon. Some of it works, some of it doesn't, and some of it time hasn't been too kind to. On the other hand, UHF got the balance of set-pieces and overall plotting rather well, I thought.

Bedazzled VHS cover artwork
Bedazzled was written by Peter Cook seemingly as a series of two or three-hander scenes for himself and Dudley Moore to perform, with a woman when required. And it must be said, Cook's script is excellent.

Stanley Moon (Moore) does a deal with the Devil (Cook) for seven wishes in exchange for his soul. While the unsatisfying fantasies that he finds himself actually in can be a bit long-winded, (not least because the first one informs us that we'll have to wait for the next six wishes to finish before the plot can move forward) the scenes in-between are much cleverer.

Stanley keeps returning to the Devil and learning a bit more about Christian theology, some of which is plain fiction, but much of which is quite educating. The scene in which the Devil sits atop a pillar box pretending to be God, while Moon pretends to be an angel worshipping him until he gets tired and wants to swap places is practically a parable.

My favourite scene though has to be the one when Stanley becomes a rock star. The exciting number he belts-out in a Top Of The Pops-esque studio, to hoards of screaming fans, is well-observed enough, but it is the track that follows him which I really liked.

Demonstrating the fickleness of stardom, the Devil's 'song' is the polar opposite, as he grates his way through the most depressingly apathy-inducing lyrics imaginable, including such monotone put-downs as "You fill me with inertia." The crowd are putty in his hand.

Moon's constant disatisfaction makes the whole film feel quite frustrating to watch, but it does have a happy ending, hopefully leaving the viewer with quite a bit of fun to reflect upon afterwards.


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