81 / 365 – ‘Arthur’ – 110 mins
Cinema Challenge #34 / 115
Arthur Bach (Russell Brand) is an irresponsible playboy – despite the fact that he’s been told what to do all his life. The culprits are his stern mother (Geraldine James), his housekeeper Hobson (Helen Mirren), and now, much to his dismay, his new bride-to-be Susan (Jennifer Garner). Arthur has been ordered to marry Susan, or suffer the consequences of disobedience – a new life, cut off from all his wealth and privilege. But Arthur doesn’t love Susan, and has instead fallen for Naomi (Greta Gerwig), a woman with no money but a good heart. With Russell Brand in hilarious form, it’s time to find out which choice Arthur will make. Can he choose love – and lose the safety net his money provides? Or will he settle for marriage to the terrifying Susan?
Having not seen the original Arthur starring the irreplaceable Dudley Moore in the lead role now filled by Russell Brand, for quite a few years I’m a little hesitant to compare the two. Brand’s slurring motormouth is on full display here and at times he suffocates the film, where he does sure talk a lot. Helen Mirren, filling in for John Gielgud’s role as Arthur’s butler instead plays his nanny and does rather well and heartwarmingly steals many a scene her and Brand share.
The film’s secret weapon though is Greta Gerwig, who plays Naomi, Arthur’s love interest outside of his sham of marriage to Susan – Gerwig brings her style of quirkiness that was brilliant evident in Greenberg, a film you should defiantly check out.
Overall Arthur has a sweet charm and innocence, even if the humour doesn’t always fire.