Bachelor, The

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -2

In this romantic comedy, Jimmie Shannon (Chris O'Donnell) thinks of himself and his single buddies as wild mustangs with one purpose: to sample as many "sweet grasses" as possible. Even when he meets and falls in love with Anne (Rene Zellweger), marriage is not an option. And all goes well for three years. Then his grandfather dies, leaving Jimmie a fortune with the proviso that he marry by 6:05 p.m. on his 30th birthday. His dilemma is that he had just made a feeble attempt to propose to Anne, but it was such an offensive effort that she walked out on him. Now after a week of rejections from former girlfriends, the marriage deadline looms less than 24 hours away. Jimmie's search for a bride does have more than personal wealth at stake. He is also trying to save jobs in his grandfather's company, which will be sold if Jimmie doesn't marry according to his grandfather's instructions. In a last minute desperate attempt, a front page newspaper article generates chaos as hundreds of hopeful brides push their way into the church. With Hollywood heartthrob Chris ODonnell as the star attraction, the appeal to young female viewers is obvious and intentional. And while THE BACHELOR does have merit as a date movie, it's not likely to inspire commitment.

With no bedroom scenes or nuditya phenomenon in the ninetiesOld-timers can almost imagine Rock Hudson and Doris Day in the leads. But, alas, the key word here is almost. Offensive language becomes the focus of Jimmie's disastrous marriage proposal. He repeatedly uses the s-word in a vulgar expression, and Anne keeps echoing it in disbelief. That one scene uses the obscenity five or six times. A total of 19 obscenities also includes the f-word three times. Those, plus seven regular profanities, wipe out any comparison to old-fashioned romantic comedies. Adding to the disappointment, the final wedding scene is a mockery of a sacred ceremony. A priest stands among hundreds of would-be brides in a street mob scene, yelling wedding vows through a bullhorn to a couple on a fire escape. And an explicit explanation of the sexual symbolism of flowers further detracts from any charm remaining in the film. THE BACHELOR well illustrates the down-sliding standards for the PG-13 rating, with its surprising number of obscenities and regular profanities.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
NewLine Cinema, 888 7th Ave., 20th Floor, NY, NY 10013

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (9) times-Mild 6, Moderate 3

Obscene Language: Many (19) times (f-word 3, s-word 10, other 6)

Profanity: Many (13) times-Regular 7 (GD 4, G 2, Jeez 1), Exclamatory (6)

Violence: None

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times (references to sex, comparison of flowers to woman's genitals)

Drugs: Cigar smoking, some social drinking

Other: Mockery of marriage ceremony; priest explains importance of marriage

Running Time: 101 minutes
Intended Audience: Teenagers and young adults

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