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The Devil and Daniel Webster starring Alec Baldwin, Anthony Hopkins and Jennifer Love Hewitt

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The Devil and Daniel Webster- a.k.a Shortcut to Happiness starring Alec Baldwin, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Anthony Hopkins

The Devil and Daniel Webster- a.k.a Shortcut to Happiness starring Alec Baldwin, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Anthony Hopkins. Directed by Alec Baldwin. Image from: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/

Let there be spoilers!!

Jabez Stone (Alec Baldwin) is a struggling writer. He has unpublished and unwanted manuscripts, a writer friend called Julius (Dan Aykroyd) who just got a big paycheck and a great contract, a loaded brother, a sales job he just got fired from and a tiny flat. Sure, he has two other writer friends- who support him and encourage him. But one day Jabez gets robbed and loses the only thing he cared about possessing- his new manuscript.  Broke, unlucky and miserable, he has a brief nervous breakdown where he throws his typewriter out of the window. When this gets unfortunately gets an old woman killed and cops are at the door, Bez gets an unexpected visitor: The Devil herself (Jennifer Love Hewitt). She offers him quite a deal. She will make the “law” problem disappear and give him what he has wanted the most in his entire life: Success and respect. Now, on another day, Bez would probably decline. But he now has a chance to save the person he accidentally killed and be a success- for once. He agrees. He will have 10 years of magnificent success in return for his soul…

And sure enough, the troubles go away. The literary agent – Constance Hurry (Kim Catrall) loves his manuscript. Soon, his books are being sold fast, he’s making great money, everyone knows his name and women are throwing themselves at him, including Constance. But of course who said the devil would play fair? She takes the success away from his friend Julius. Moreover, no critic loves his book. No one seems to care about what he wants to say. As long as it is written by him, it is gold. Success, fame and busy schedules also take away his two good friends. Not to mention, years go by pretty quickly…

Now this movie is not bad. The first half is pretty entertaining and I suspect it will hit home more with writers. Which writer hasn’t been through that desperation period? But after the deal, and the first couple of hints of success, the pace of the movie really slows down (not that it was exactly fast before that) and potential for a good (black) comedy and the chance to be a fun little satire die down. Sure, the drama is expected and welcome on a level but it shouldn’t have arrived at the expense of entertainment. There is also the relationship between Daniel Webster (Anthony Hopkins)- a respected and successful agent and the devil. I am not sure if that makes or breaks the movie.

The movie does have a good cast and some fun moments.  But it is not enough. The story is based on an old play. There is also a 1942-dated movie of the same name where the deal takes place between a farmer and the devil. Since I haven’t seen that movie but what would the occupation of Webster be?

This is not a movie that deserves your focus. There is no harm in playing it in the background, but if you are not going to multi-task, you might not enjoy the film much.

The IMDB  rating is 5.7. I think it is more of a 4 to 5/10. Let me know what you think about the ending.

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3 Responses to “The Devil and Daniel Webster starring Alec Baldwin, Anthony Hopkins and Jennifer Love Hewitt”

  1. Bill Lublin says:

    Pinar – enjoyed the review but seriously? What would Daniel Webster’s job be?
    Please take a couple of minutes to read the original story by Steven Vincent Benet in1937 – the story about a farmer who is defended against the devil by the statesman Daniel Webster (check wikipedia – he was a real guy and a great politician and orator of his time) I would also suggest that you might get a kick out of the 1942 movie which was a real costume period piece done in B&W – you might enjoy it as a movie fan… but in any case, thanks for the heads up on this version 🙂

  2. zoey says:

    Hi, Bill.
    Thank you so much for commenting. I am indeed curious about the original film. Sometimes it is easier to keep up with movies that are more recently done.
    However, as a movie fan, I really should see it. I was really tempted to see this one because I am a writer myself. And it is usually great to see Hopkins on
    screen:)

  3. The Devil and Daniel Webster starring Alec Baldwin, Anthony … | Jennifer Hewitt says:

    […] The Devil and Daniel Webster starring Alec Baldwin, Anthony … […]

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