Shortcut to Happiness

August 17th, 2007


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Still of Dan Aykroyd in Shortcut to HappinessStill of Anthony Hopkins and Alec Baldwin in Shortcut to HappinessStill of Jennifer Love Hewitt in Shortcut to HappinessStill of Jennifer Love Hewitt in Shortcut to HappinessStill of Alec Baldwin in Shortcut to HappinessStill of Jennifer Love Hewitt in Shortcut to Happiness

A down-and-out writer sells his soul to the devil in exchange for fame and fortune.

Release Year: 2004

Rating: 5.6/10 (2,380 voted)

Director: Alec Baldwin

Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Alec Baldwin, Jennifer Love Hewitt

In Manhattan, the aspirant writer Jabez Stone is a complete loser: he is not able to sell his novels, he lives in a lousy apartment and he does not have success with women. When one of his friends Julius Jenson sells his novel for US$ 190,000.00 to an editor, Jabez fells envy and promises to sell his soul to the devil for success and accidentally kills a woman with his typing machine. The Devil knocks on his door, fixes the situation and seals a contract with Jabez. His low quality novels have bad reviews but become best-sellers; Jabez enriches; has success with women, but has no time for his friends. Jabez meets with the publisher Daniel Webster who offers him a chance to break the contract with the devil.

Writers: Stephen Vincent Benet, Archibald Macleish

Anthony Hopkins - Daniel Webster
Alec Baldwin - Jabez Stone
Jennifer Love Hewitt - The Devil
Ken Murton - Daniel's Agent
Frank Sivero - Luigi
Dan Aykroyd - Julius Jenson
Gregg Bello - Rick Fusco
Kim Cattrall - Constance Hurry
John Savage - Johnny
Al Palagonia - Anthony
Barry Miller - Mike Weiss
Jason Patric - Ray
Paul Thornton - James Joyce
Kevin Olson - Tommy Anderson
Bill Corsair - Aging Writer

Taglines: the devil is in the details.

Release Date: 17 August 2007

Filming Locations: Bethpage, Long Island, New York, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $25,000,000(estimated)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

According to Alec Baldwin, the film was extensively re-edited after it came into the possession of Bob Yari Productions, and no longer bears any resemblance to its original form or to the Benet short story, hence the title change. Baldwin has since requested that his name be removed from the credits as director and producer.

Factual errors: While showing Jabez his new apartment, the Realtor says Irving Berlin wrote "White Christmas" there. In fact, the song was written while sitting at the pool at the Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa in Phoenix, Arizona in 1940.

Daniel Webster: And so it was that the chariot of the devil smote down Jensen. You see, Jensen was a loose end. And the devil doesn't like loose ends, if you know what I mean.

User Review

A Very Good film and definitely worth watching

Rating: 9/10

I saw this film at the Venice Film Festival and have waited a long time to comment on it as I wanted to see it again when I was released. However, it still has not come out and I don't know if it ever will.

Alec Baldwin is a writer, down on his luck and nowhere to go but down even further.

As with many viewers I suspect, I was attracted to this film by the cast and the fact that it has received so much press, good and bad. The plot is based on the old casino idea of a writer whose career in next to nil and is getting ready to self destruct – and unless you get into it, it'll feel rather forced and silly at times.

However the film helped me to overcome this by being very low key and downbeat – very much like Baldwin himself. The film is not a great thing but one that is easy to get into. The film uses Las Vegas really well but it is a classic story that is fun to believe in. It is much better than the fun, breezy and slick fantasies that we are sold in other films. The mix of romance, comedy and violence works very well – at points it was very touching, at others quite funny.

It isn't perfect of course and the writing is where the problems lie; the story did rely on the audience buying into it and at times the dialogue comes very close to corn (but just misses). The only time I felt really let down was the ending, which, although fitting with the spirit of the film, missed a great chance to be fun, exciting and original all at the same time.

Still, a good film and definitely worth the watching.