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The basics of the story remain unchanged. Arthur Bach is a trust fund child who is stuck in childhood, even though his pampered bubble of wealth now brings him toys like prostitutes, famous movie prop cars (the Batmobile, the Back to the Future DeLorean, the Scooby-Doo Mystery Machine, and others all make appearances), and all manner of grownup baubles at every fleeting whim. His stuck-in-childhood mode seems to be blamed on the loss of his doting father at a very young age. But now at 30, his prim mother (Geraldine James) wants him to grow up, stop embarrassing the huge corporation that bears their name, and marry a respectable girl (Jennifer Garner) who will tame him and give the company a veneer of respectability. Upon threat of being cut off from the family fortune, Arthur reluctantly agrees, but then immediately falls for the real girl of his dreams, a lowly--and poor--Manhattan tour guide (Greta Gerwig), who falls for him too. She doesn't even care about the money. The issue of drink is handled somewhat differently 30 years after Dudley Moore made such a loveable and unrepentant chronic inebriant. Since it's kind of a more significant societal issue, the filmmakers haven't really been able to make it as much of a fun and funny part of who Arthur is (plus, Dudley Moore did a drunken shtick that was fairly classic, while there doesn't seem to be much difference between Brand's drunken and sober Arthur). Arthur's drinking is treated as a genuine problem in this update, which also provides comedy the dilemma of dealing with seriousness. Fortunately the sense of forward momentum, Brand's general likeability, and the pervading sunny tone cover up a lot. The other big selling point and major change from the original is the character of Hobson, who for Dudley Moore was a dour butler played by John Gielgud, and for Russell Brand is a disapproving nanny in the persona of Helen Mirren. Both Hobsons were best friends to Arthur, and Mirren's statuesque gravitas brings a lot to the authentic lifelong affection that seems real as handled by both actors. Overlooking some slackness in the script, Brand and Mirren give this bright, shiny updated Arthur longer legs than it might otherwise have had in striding cleverly into audiences' hearts. --Ted Fry
Top Customer Reviews
1. Russell Brand does the best that he can do to fill Dudley Moore's shoes. No longer a loveable slushy drunk, Arthur's now a wild boy child, throwing money around doing his best to ease the recession (and possibly share a few std's along the way).
2. Helen Mirren gets caught between the moon and New York City as she lovingly rolls her eyes at his antics and then makes it all better with a stern look and a snappy comment.
3. Greta Gerwig plays his first real love interest (not counting Helen Mirren's character,Hobson), an aspiring writer of children's books by night and an illegal tour guide by day. Her character, Naomi, turns his heart around, and next thing you know, he's closing down the town (or at least Grand Central Station)
4. His fiancée Susan (Jennifer Garner), her dad (Nick Nolte) and his mom (Geraldine James) compete fiercely for the "most unlikeable" award. I know it's crazy, but it's true.
5. Bottom line is that this is an "okay" movie, barely nodding to its predecessor with one short burst of the melody of the original theme song, but at the end of it, you'll wake up way across town and find it's not still with you.
Amanda Richards, July 8, 2011
Arthur goes along with this to keep his fortune, but then meets the love of his life — in the old movie, a tough-talking waitress played by Liza Minnelli, but here a whimsical tour-guide and wannabe children’s author, played ineffectually by Greta Gerwig.
I really love this movie, its mindless fun to watch with friends, not really suitable for children though, so don't plan on this one being a family movie.
My only reason for seeing this movie is because Luis Guzman is in it. He plays "Bitterman".
Horrible remake to the original "Arthur" movies. The dearly missed Dudley Moore was in the original movie as the short drunk and was very funny, in fact, he also did a second movie.
This remake with Russell Brand was very difficult to get through and only made me miss Dudley Moore even more.
Luis Guzman was cute in the Robin-The Boy Wonder costume.
Also in the cast: Helen Mirren, Jennifer Garner, Greta Gerwig, Nick Nolte, Evander Holyfield, Robert Clohessy.
For a good time and many laughs, please see the two original movies starring Dudley Moore and Liza Minnelli.
Arthur 2 - On the Rocks (1988).
Both movies on Blu-ray: Arthur / Arthur 2: On the Rocks (2-Movie Collection) [Blu-ray].
Brand is a comedic actor with unique talents but they fit this role like a glove. He is onscreen virtually every minute and it is on his shoulders this movie rests. His "Arthur" is a more a fun loving playboy than Dudley Moore's sloppy drunk and that is a good thing. No one could top John Gielgud's Oscar winning peformance as Hobson but Helen Mirren does a good job nonetheless. The rest of the movie is well cast although in the original, the father of Arthur's poor lover got off some of the funniest lines of the movie and here, he is mostly invisible.
I don't know that this is a better or worse movie than the 1981 original but it is an enjoyable film. Brand is funny and believable and his charms are just right for this version of "Arthur".
It is said other actors refuse to work with him because he is THAT good that he can improvise Shakespeare to suit a different flow. And in his "Arthur" he made a different movie 100% Different . As much as I LOVED Dudley Moore there were entire caricatures and flippant reparte:
Arthur: I'm going to take a bath.
Hobson: I'll alert the media.
Wast THAT "really" funny ? No it was not.
Looking back the chemistry was not as intertwined .
Russel's "Arthur" is a lot more polished . Helen Mirren delivery always carries an underlying motherly cushioning.
All around it feels like a less "contrived" comedy because the jokes are not thrusted up your nose. You get it or you do not.
Russell Brand should be a MEGA star by now , but it is obvious his mind is is summarized in Walt Whitman's quote
"Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)
And THAT is Brand.. There's no subject he can not discuss with authority and profundity or as a totally innocent 7 year old boy.
One thing about the movie . I will NEVER be able to see Helen Mirren and not remember her role in "Caligula" and I write this with a great deal of affection . The lady made a MAN out of me :)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I saw the original with Dudley Moore and enjoyed it. While I"m not a big fan of the lead male character, I must say I did enjoy this version more. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Terri
Received it within 7 days, and the movie was great. Lots of good songs, and the movie is very funny in a newer version of the original movie.Published 29 days ago by Manny2024
I love this movie and I love Russell Brand. Of all the movies he has been in this is his best performance beside his live comedy shows!Published 2 months ago by thenielandfamily
Funnnny movie! Russell Brand is clever....script is absolutely brilliant!Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
I give 1 star only because of Helen Mirren !!! Would be 0 without her !!!Published 4 months ago by BM
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