A drunken playboy stands to lose a wealthy inheritance when he falls for a woman his family doesn’t like.
Arthur is a remake of the Dudley Moore movie that had Liza Minnelli and Sir John Geilgud. It was a huge hit. This has Russell Brand, Helen Mirren playing the butler part, who has been transformed into a nanny, and someone called Greta Gerwig playing the Liza Minnelli role who gets fourth billing for obvious reasons. She has absolutely no charisma. I’m sure she’s very nice to her mother. And Jennifer Garner playing the snooty girl that the family wants him to marry. Except there’s not a family in this one. It’s an overbearing mother. I have a bunch of problems with this movie. What I did like about it was the Batmobile, I thought it was terrific the fact that Warner Brothers, owns both franchises, allowed the Batmobile to be front and center. There’s some genuinely cute moments in it. But, basically, the difference between a very young man who’s a drunk and a middle-aged man who’s a drunk is pathos. That what you believe with Dudley Moore is that there was a sadness underneath this and he just didn’t know how to deal with it. What you believe with Russell Brand is that he’s a child who just doesn’t care about growing up and so he’s having temper tantrums. So, it’s a lot harder to be sympathetic with him. I think Russell Brand is terrific in cameos. Short, intense bursts of Russell Brand, like in Forgetting Sarah Marshall work beautifully. I think he even worked well in Hop as the voice of the Easter Bunny who was rebellious. But, a whole movie full of Russell Brand, I just found tiresome and tiring and you don’t really like him very much. There’s no one in the movie to like. But, Helen Mirren can’t be as nasty as Sir John Geilgud was because she’s supposed to be a sympathetic nanny. It’s because the bad guy in this — all the women are bad guys, basically with this kind of Peter Pan syndrome, except there’s nothing likeable about him. You don’t feel his pain, you don’t feel anything except that he’s a wastrel and a womanizer and not very pleasant and you don’t understand the appeal of the girl that decides he’s crazy about and he’s willing to give up his fortune for. So, the ending scene is contrived because we’ve watched him be a jerk, and not even a likeable jerk, not even a cute or sympathetic jerk, just a drunk, for an hour and a half until the last 10 or 15 minutes when somehow he finds his heart, don’t ring true at all. Other people who may not remember the Dudley Moore movie at all, I think even if you didn’t know anything about Dudley Moore, you’d find this movie somewhat superficial to say the least and stupid. It does have some genuine laughs in it, but I wouldn’t give it any more than two stars.