I had just got done watching Your Highness, which for the most part was a disappointment (Check out the review for more details), and then I headed over to the next screening of Arthur. I was waiting for a really boring and unfunny movie, which is exactly what I expected when the star of the film is Russell Brand. The film looked like another man-child comedy that was just going to have a grown man playing with toys and acting stupid, which for the most part it was. The one thing I didn’t expect was to actually like this film and I did.
Jason Winer directs this remake of the original 1981 film of the same name and stars Russell Brand as a rich playboy named Arthur, who uses his wealth to have fun and only embarrasses his family’s name while being under the watchful eye of his nanny Hobson (Helen Mirren). After acting stupid and costing his mother the chance at getting new investors, Arthur is told that he will marry an employee of his mother named Susan (Jennifer Garner) or he will be cut off from his money. Arthur feels no attraction to Susan, but wants to keep his money and Susan wants to one day run his mother’s company. Arthur meets a girl named Naomi (Greta Gerwig), who he falls in love with, but the only way he can be with her and not get married to Susan is to prove he can live on his own without his money.
Russell Brand doesn’t have to try to hard, as he mostly just plays himself and actually shines by doing so. He is genuinely funny and has a very good comedic timing throughout, while also seemingly sharing great chemistry with all the cast members. The conversations between the characters are great and really gives the movie a great feel to it. I walked in with a completely negative outlook on this film and really was shocked to be proven wrong. I thought Greta Gerwig and Helen Mirren were fantastic and really helped Russell Brand do well in all of the scenes they shared.
I actually had a couple of problems with some of the characters, especially Jennifer Garner. We are supposed to believe that Jennifer Garner’s character Susan’s personality makes her unattractive, but it doesn’t work for me. Garner is too gorgeous and really isn’t that bad throughout the film, she really doesn’t have a scene where she is really a bitch except for a brief talk with Naomi, besides that, I would take it. Also characters like the driver Bitterman (Luis Guzman) are just useless, I mean why do you need a comic relief character in a comedy?Bitterman and Arthur really don’t share as many scenes either, so the chemistry isn’t there. One other thing that bothered me is the complete lack of emotion for a serious point in the film and I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’ll leave it at that, but seriously there is a scene late in the film that should be much more sad than they make it.
I’m glad I took the time to see this one, because I was in no way planning on seeing it at all. This film was perfect for Russell Brand and he did a great job, even though he is playing himself. It had great dialogue, some great gags, and a couple of actually touching moments. Arthur really was a good film and I hope that seeing Your Highness right before didn’t impair my judgment, but if not then I really recommend this one.