A charmer Arthur Bach who is irresponsible has always relied on two things to get by: one, his limitless fortune and two the good sense of lifelong nanny Hobson to keep him out of trouble. Now he faces his biggest challenge choosing between an arranged marriage that will ensure his lavish lifestyle or an uncertain future wit...more
A charmer Arthur Bach who is irresponsible has always relied on two things to get by: one, his limitless fortune and two the good sense of lifelong nanny Hobson to keep him out of trouble. Now he faces his biggest challenge choosing between an arranged marriage that will ensure his lavish lifestyle or an uncertain future with the one thing money cant buy, Naomi. less
“A supporting actor may not be a good lead, and this is what Russel Brand proves here. Arthur not only lacks humor but also fails to leave an impact with its predictable script.”
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By no stretch do I consider Dudley Moore's 'Arthur' (1981) as a classic. It was at best a mediocre effort lit up by a wonderful Oscar winning performance from the late John Gielgund. The new version however does what any remake of a mediocre movie shouldn't, make us pine for the original.
Arthur Bach (Russell Brand) is a perpetually boozed up billionaire playboy whose high-life histrionics are the source of nothing but embarrassment for his mother Vivienne (Geraldine Jones). His nanny Lillian Hobson (Helen Mirren) tries her best to clean up the mess but when a scheming heiress Susan (Jennifer Garner) steps into the picture, things are shaken up for Arthur. Vivienne issues an ultimatum to Arthur that he better sober up and marry Susan else he shall be cut off from her fortune. Arthur resists and takes it upon himself to show his mother that he can lead a normal life. Thus begins his clean-up act with help from Lillian. Will Arthur be able to resist the booze, earn an honest living and win the love of the simple and caring, Naomi (Greta Gerwig)? Dudley Moore did it, so that should give us a hint.
Russell Brand has already cultivated an image of the drunken slacker and he exploits that to the tee here. Depending on your taste for his acting style you'll either find it boring and repetitive or enjoyable. I honestly found it to be overkill, in small doses as a supporting actor he does amazingly well but to have him as a lead is a bit of stretch of my patience. This is also perhaps the reason why most of the jokes didn't quite work for me, making it less likeable than the original.
Helen Mirren is reliable as ever, bringing a strong sense of warmth and dignity to her performance. While she is a perfect foil to Brand's humour quotient, she isn't around enough. Jennifer Garner is plain over-the-top trying but failing to be funny.
'Arthur' isn't without its merits, since a few heartfelt genuinely connect particularly those shared between Arthur & Lillian but the movies so caught up in its buffoonery that it loses its edge. It might be worth a watch when it arrives on television or home video.