Monday, February 20, 2012
"Arthur" is nothing more than an unabashed remake of the 1981 comedy featuring Dudley Moore. Many will probably already know the story, which doesn't really change in the remake directed by Jason Winer who is best known for the hit TV comedy "Modern Family".
Arthur is a happily drunk and rich playboy with no pretensions at any ambition. After another drunken run-in with the law, his aloof mother has had enough and forces him to marry Susan, a proper business woman, or else he will lose his inheritance. He does not love Susan, but he meets Naomi, a free-spirited girl who Arthur thinks is perfect for him. Arthur has to decide, what is more important: love, or his mother's money.
Some of the more interesting updates in the film are the inclusion of Helen Mirren as the dutiful guardian Hobson who was previously played by John Gielgud. I think that having Hobson be a woman actually offers a little more of an emotional appreciation for Arthur in the final act of the film. Additionally, the stern Jennifer Garner holds her own as Susan, a role that was less convincing by Jill Eikenberry. Jill Eikenberry is coincidently having a huge career into her 50s with "Young Adult" and "Something Borrowed" both being released this year.
Greta Gerwig is the quirky actress from "Greenberg" (2010) and "No Strings Attached" (2011) that seems to get mixed reviews for how she constantly looks like she is on the precipice of crying with her whiny demeanor and slurred speech. She will never be Liza Minnelli, but there never seemed to be any genuine chemistry between her and Russell Brand to make the film even remotely believable. But that isn't Greta Gerwig's fault as I don't know if I have ever seen any believable chemistry between a female and Russell Brand in film or real life.
The film seemed more like an attempt by Russell Brand to impersonate Dudley Moore than an actual remaking attempt. Ultimately, the film was the same with a few upgrades offered by the women and some fancy toys. However, not even Helen Mirren can save this film from itself and regrettably only receives 2 Quacks.