Arthur

(2011)

Genres: Comedy

Review: Arthur

Transcript for Review: Arthur

CHRISTY LEMIRE:
And I’m Christy Lemire of the Associated Press. Now the world didn't need a remake of Arthur -- but then again it doesn't need most remakes. But while it's extremely faithful to the original, the actors put their own individual spins on the roles.  Russell Brand stars as Arthur Bach, the drunk New York playboy who's being forced to settle down and get married or lose his sizable fortune.

Clip 2. “I think I could live without the money”

CHRISTY:
That's Helen Mirren in the role that earned John Gielgud his one-and-only Oscar as Arthur’s "nanny," if you will. She's been the only stable female force in Arthur’s life. The woman his mother wants him to marry is a controlling social climber played by a hugely unlikable Jennifer Garner.

Clip 1.  “I Hear You Have Something to Ask Me”

CHRISTY:
But Arthur ends up meeting a woman who's just right for him, even though her social background would seem all wrong. Greta Gerwig functions as the Liza Minnelli figure here -- a free-spirited tour guide from Queens with a quirky sense of humor. 

Clip 7. “You don’t have a tour license” 

CHRISTY:
The sheer power of Russell Brand being Russell Brand is good for consistent laughs -- much more so here than when he played an Easter Bunny in "Hop.”  He and Gerwig have a sweet, deadpan banter that's appealing. 

CLIP

CHRISTY:
Brand is more of an immature party boy than a sad and lonely soul the way Moore played it, and this new ARTHUR does feel a bit safe and sanitized, but still, I had fun. A marginal Thumbs up.

IGNATIY VISHNEVETSKY:
And I will give it a marginal thumbs down.

CHRISTY:
Ok.

IGNATIY:
I think this movie is occasionally rather funny.  Or rather I should say the performers in the movie are occasionaly very funny and that is a testament to their talents and I think to the chemistry between Mirren and Brand and to the screenwriting, but the movie itself is just slapdash, it’s a mess and everytime it goes from one scen to another it feels like the whole thing is just going to fall apart.

CHRISTY:
Now, were you a fan of the original Arthur?

IGNATIY:
You know what. I think this is a marginal improvement over the original Arthur.  I’m…

CHRISTY:
That’s shocking.

IGNATIY:
And why is that?

CHRISTY:
Because everyone loves the original Arthur, it’s a comedy classic from the 80s.

IGNATIY:
That’s their problem, not mine…

CHRISTY:
Yes, yes.

IGNATIY:
I think the original is kind of abysmal with the exception of the Gielgud scenes and I think that Brand even though he has this really histioronic kind of mugging about him is actually better than Dudley Moore was in the role and I’m someone who generally likes Dudley Moore.

CHRISTY:
Dudley Moore does great with it.  The laugh alone does great.  I like him and Helen Mirren together although it’s a softer and kind of sweeter pairing than Dudley Moore had with John Geilgud.  They were mean to each other and their was a tension there 

IGNATIY:
Well, that’s really the love story here.  It’s not a romantic comedy.  It’s all about a man and his butler.

CHRISTY:
And Greta Gerwig who I think is kind of cute, but she’s the same person in everything at this point kind of.

IGNATIY:
This is unfortunate.  I feel like it is kind of a waste of her talents.

CHRISTY:
I’m not sure what else she can do? She hasn’t shown us yet.

IGNATIY:
I think she has more range than that, but I think the romance is underdeveloped and it feels like I said, it feels clunky.