Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Russell Brand reinvents the role of lovable billionaire Arthur Bach, an irresponsible charmer who has always relied on two things to get by: his limitless fortune and lifelong nanny Hobson (Academy Award® winner* Helen Mirren) to keep him out of trouble. Now he faces his biggest challenge: choosing between an arranged marriage to ambitious corporate exec Susan (Jennifer Garner) that will ensure his lavish lifestyle, or an uncertain future with the one thing money can’t buy – Naomi (Greta Gerwig), his true love. With Naomi’s inspiration and some unconventional help from Hobson, Arthur will take the most expensive risk of his life and learn what it means to be a man in this re-imagining of the beloved Oscar®-winning* romantic comedy Arthur.
As a high-concept Hollywood pitch, remaking the charming Dudley Moore 1981 comic romp about a man-child billionaire playboy with a rather serious drinking problem and installing Russell Brand as the new lead sounded like a pretty good idea. With Brand's reputation as a semi-reformed bad boy and actual recovering alcoholic/addict (not to mention his parlayed success from English standup fame to movies like Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him to the Greek), he was a great casting choice to reprise Moore's devilishly innocent character. In many ways Brand is among the heirs to first-wave loony British comics like Moore, Peter Sellers, and Spike Milligan, along with actors like Steve Coogan, Eddie Izzard, and Ricky Gervais. But something happened in the 30-year translation that has deflated a lot of charm from the 2011 Arthur. Brand is probably the best thing about the movie, although he's never quite able to capture the characterization of a genuinely agreeable immature cad that Moore portrayed so adorably. This is Russell Brand playing another version of himself, which isn't such a bad thing, just not quite adorable enough. Brand is a smart, funny, and quick-on-his-feet improviser, and lot of that comes through, but he'd probably be the first to admit that he's no Dudley Moore.
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
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
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.
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 :)
I give this movie 5-stars based on my own rating system: 3-stars = it's okay. 4-stars = I'd watch it again 5-stars = I own it. I won't bother w/ 2 & 1 stars. You get the gist.