`Hungry Bachelors’ kills appetite

Hungry Bachelors Club

By Jae-Ha Kim
Chicago Sun-Times
November 12, 1999

1 star

 

There are so many things wrong with “The Hungry Bachelors Club” that it’s easy to overlook some of the actors’ fine work. It’s unfortunate that they’re stuck portraying one-dimensional characters who make the “Melrose Place” crew appear deep.

Delmar Youngblood (Jorja Fox) is a gourmet chef who toils away as an insurance adjuster. She lives with her mother, young son and best friend Hortense (Suzanne Mara), and dreams of the day when she’ll have enough money to open her own restaurant.

Opportunity knocks when Hortense’s boyfriend Stanley (Paul Provenza) brokers a deal for Delmar to be a surrogate mother for his boss. If she agrees, she’ll receive $25,000, and he’ll be promoted to partner.

After considering Stanley’s promise to marry Hortense when he makes partner and – more importantly – her own desire to quit her job and start up her own business, Delmar says yes.

The only one who opposes her decision is her studly brother Jethro (Peter Murnik), who teaches anthropology by day and restores Cadillacs at night.

The entire premise of the movie is ridiculous. And because you don’t feel a connection to any of the characters, you really don’t care whether Delmar gets to open her restaurant, much less whether she’ll keep the baby.

Jethro’s best friend Marlon (David Shackelford) is supposed to be a goofy, lovable character. But after the camera shows him staggering around drunk, revealing rear cleavage three times too many, you’ve already written him off as an idiot.

Couple that with trite stereotypes of a domineering Middle Eastern ex-husband and a chirpy Chinese gynecologist, and you’ve got really bad comedy.

The movie’s saving grace is the presence of Bill Nunn, who lends a quiet dignity to his role of Moses – an ex-con who falls in love with Delmar. It’s unfortunate that director Gregory Ruzzin didn’t set the romance up better.

Jae-Ha Kim previews film and entertainment highlights every Friday on Channel 32’s noon.

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