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When this film was first released at the cinema I wanted to go and see it. I'm not a huge fan of Russell Brand but did enjoy his appearance in Get him to the Greek and the plot of Arthur sounded like it would be fun and interesting. However, I have only just got round to seeing it because reviews of the film were not brilliant. This film is based on an earlier film of the same name. I saw this on Sky Movies so this is a film only review.
Arthur is in his late twenties. He is very comfortable in his life as, although his relationship with his mother is strained to say the least, she is worth an awful lot of money. Therefore, Arthur doesn't work and instead spends his days doing as he pleases and spending bucket loads of cash.
However, Arthur isn't your regular rich kid. Although he loves fast cars and women, he is extremely immature, so much so that he still has a nanny who caters to his every need.
In order for Arthur to be eligible for his inheritance he must be married and therefore his mother has found him a suitor. Arthur does not want to be married, but which will win money or freedom?
==Is it worth watching?==
I was quite sceptical about this film when I put it on because what I had heard about it wasn't exactly brilliant. However, I was drawn in from the start and really enjoyed watching it.
Russell Brand does a very good job of presenting Arthur to us and the character is instantly loveable. He is so naive and loves his nanny very much. He is also quite innocent, taking everything at face value and often failing to see any bad within people.
I thought the plot was interesting and enjoyed seeing how Arthur decided exactly what he was going to do. He understandably found his situation difficult and therefore went about coming to a decision in a variety of ways which were fun and very humorous to watch. I found the film was actually quite funny and I often found myself laughing out loud.
The plot flowed well and although I was quite sure I knew what was going to happen from the outset, there were various twists and turns that helped to hold my interest and provided shocks and surprises throughout.
The acting was impeccable and I very much appreciated the talent of the actors. They really managed to make their characters their own and I thought that they all produced fun and interesting characters.
The film was released in 2011.
It stars Russell Brand and Helen Mirren.
It runs for 110 minutes.
It is rated a 12A.
I actually enjoyed this film very much. I found it to be very funny and engaging throughout but it also had a fairly laid back appeal. I would definitely watch it again and recommend it to anyone if they are fans of comedy drama.
Film Only Review:
Meet Arthur Bach, wild living billiionaire, an eccentric and childish grown man with a nanny called Hobbs (Helen Mirren) who has been by his side all of his life.
Arthur appears to have drink problem, loves the ladies even if he has to pay for them and has no concept of working for a living at all and gives himself a fun lifestyle.
After a mad night out dressed as batman and hiring a batmobile to go to his mothers fund raising event and crashing it his mother decides enough is enough. Vivienne (Geraldine James) who is cold hearted decides that he will marry the beautiful but career driven Susan (Jennifer Garner) or lose the money.
Arthur doesn't like Susan much, tries to put her off with bad behaviour but she wants into the marriage to become 'someone' and is hellbent that they will marry much to Arthurs growing dismay.
In the meanttime Arthur gets hit with the love stick by the feisty Naomi (Greta Gerwig), who is from Queens and works as an illegal tour guide who sees Arthur for who he really is and enjoys his company.
Hobbs doesn't think them seeing eachother is a good idea at first and seems to support him marrying Susan and settling down however she becomes ill with headaches which means Arthur starts to care for her.
What will Arthur do? Marry to keep the money or leave it all behind him and be with a girl that he loves?
Well I felt really let down by this movie to be honest. Half the time I felt that Russell played himself and although I can't say the film was unfunny it wasn't belly laughs it gave me and all in all it was a predicatable and a rather silly movie. This is a remake and the original is far superior in every way.
I knew from the first few minutes in which way he would go and I also predicted the ending of it and I actually only watched the original all the way through after seeing this lol!
Helen Mirren played the stern but caring Hobbs rather well and I did feel her and Arthurs relationship was played out really well, even Jennifer played the sexy but boring Susan well but all in all this was a film that failed to delight me and my mate much at all!
Run Time: 1 hour 39 minutes
This review is also posted on Ciao under this same username.
Arthur Bach(Russell Brand) is a millionaire playboy - with a predicted inheritance of some 950 million dollars, he's a man that never has to worry about anything other than having fun, whether it be spending a fortune, driving excessively fast, bedding a string of beautiful women, drinking, or, even better, doing all these things at once .
Unfortunately, his mother, played by Julie Andrews, is less then impressed by her sons behaviour, especially when an escapade involving a batmobile and a bronze bull statur ends up splashed all over the news, ruining the reputation of the Bach Foundation. She decides that a strong woman will straighten him out - and she has just the right woman in mind. She presents her son with an ultimatum - get married to the girl of her choosing, or lose the family fortune . What happens next ?
Russell Brand was a brilliant choice for the role of Arthur, simply because his own personal life, and his cheeky chappie personality give him the right experience for the part. He barely even needs to act, his performance just seems so natural. He makes Arthur into a very lovable character, someone you can laugh at, and with, whilst rolling your eyes at his predictable idiocy.
Julie Andrews is impressive as the dignified, but distant matriarch. Jennifer Garner as the woman with the mothers seal of approval was utterly dislikeable, and love interest Naomi (Greta Gerwig) was well cast as the down to earth 'nice' woman. the real stand out roles for me though were the two hired help - Hobson, the Nanny, played by Helen Mirren, was the real mother-role in the film, despairing of Arthurs antics and frequently telling him she disapproves, whilst still showing a restrained affection . Luiz Guzman played Bitterman, the Chauffer who often ended up being the comedy sidekick was also hilarious!
The film was enjoyable and funny. It didn't require me to have my brain engaged at all, and I could just sit back and giggle. It's no a particularly challenging film, and being based on an 80's movie, it's not really original either.
Overall, I quite enjoyed it, 4 stars!
I can't say I've ever heard of the original "Arthur", in fact I wasn't aware it existed until after watching this film, so I had no worries about it being worse than the original. I was a bit worried about watching a comedy film with Russell Brand as the lead man though, the only thing I'd actually seen him in was his first film St.Trinian's, which was distinctly naff.
I was pleasantly surprised with this film and despite Arthur's distinctly spoilt behaviour and penchant for strange behaviour, I found myself growing to like him and it's easy to feel sorry for the guy despite his wealth when he has his equally selfish but also downright nasty future wife (Jennifer Garner) and pushy mother (Geraldine James) on his back.
In some ways the film is a bit of a mirror in that, Arthur's nanny "Hobson" (Judi Dench) is Arthur's preferred choice to his mother as is the quirky Naomi (Greta Gerwig) over his wife to be. Just about everyone in the film is out to give Arthur a lesson, where as he just wants to enjoy himself but finds himself facing the loss of a fortune.
I enjoyed the performances of all the actors and I thought that the film blended comedy with a hint of drama and romance pretty well, it might not be the best film ever but I found it entertaining and it stands up strongly against the amount of poor quality comedies being released these days, it's also refreshing to see a line-up that you would not necessarily expect to find in one of the big comedy movies of the year.
Most of the mature world looked at this movie with trepidation. Woe betide they remake the 1981 classic. Add Russel Brand in and most of them are on their knees asking the Lord for forgiveness. Having never seen the original movie I experienced none of these emotions, nor understood them, but I am quite sure the hyperbolic response was completely unnecessary.
Regardless of the inappropriate things that Russel Brand does in his (not so) private life, his movies are usually at the height of sexual banter and ridicule which makes for good entertainment.This one was slightly different as the banter was less sexual and instead revealed the true idiocy and naivety of Russel Brand's character, Arthur. Many have called this movie 'cute', and I'd have to agree with them. As well as all the fun and games there are still moral issues being explored, particularly marrying for money (even when the money technically already belongs to you). Russel Brand interprets the role of Arthur who has the mental age of a four year old, but a bank account of around $950 million ... or something to that amount. As the story unravels, Arthur transforms from an unruly playboy to someone who understands true love and will do anything for it.
Jennifer Garner adds to the humour at several moments, but altogether does not play a very large role. Helen Mirren must be congratulated for her role as Arthur's strict(ish) nanny-come-mother, yet again playing the stern old lady but with added comic value this time around. The relationship between Arthur and Hobston (Mirren) is really touching and quite heart-breaking as it draws to a close.
Essentially this is about a playboy, Arthur, who is the only heir to a massive fortune and a very successful company. His mother tells him that he must marry Susan (Garner) who is a successful business woman only interested in Arthur's money, otherwise she will cut him off. At first, Arthur refuses, but then realises he cannot live without the money, and so he agrees to marry Susan. However, he meets Naomi, a children's illustrator who does not earn much, and falls in love. Who will he choose?
I highly recommend this movie to everyone for some comic and some heartbreaking scenes. Of course Russel Brand is human marmite so if you hate him, don't watch this movie.
Like many people, I loved the original Arthur film from 1981 which starred Dudley Moore, Liza Minnelli and Sir. John Gielgud. It was brilliant, funny, charming and memorable. I didn't even mind the sequel Arthur 2: On The Rocks from 1988. Therefore, I was a bit dubious about the 2011 remake starring Russell Brand and Dame Helen Mirren.
I have been a fan of Russell's since he presented Big Brother's Big Mouth in 2004 and 2005. I loved the way he dressed and looked (especially the eyeliner), I adored his creative use of the English language and his irreverent humour. I supported him during the Andrew Sachs scandal and continued to be a fan. However, over the past year or so, he has changed a bit, married Katy Perry, tidied himself up and he seems to have gone a bit Hollywood. Would I still like this new Russell?
Then I saw him interviewed on television about the remake of Arthur. I saw Helen Mirren interviewed too and a few clips and suddenly, I was thinking I might really enjoy this version of the film after all. Then my eldest daughter came to stay with us for the Easter weekend and once I discovered she wanted to see it too, that was it! So my fiancé, my daughter and I spent two hours of our Easter Sunday in the cinema.
But was it any good?
I'll start with the plot. Arthur Bach (Russell Brand) is a wealthy 30-something who spends his life living in luxury. His apartment is stunning with a floating magnetic bed, in which he entertains a string of glamorous women. He has a chauffeur Bitterman (played by Luis Guzman) and a nanny and general housekeeper Lillian Hobson (Helen Mirren) to look after him and when he gets bored, he goes out on the town in his Batmobile or spends millions of dollars at auctions.
His mother Vivienne (Geraldine James) becomes irritated by his ways and soon gives him an ultimatum. He must marry Susan Johnson (Jennifer Garner), who works for Vivienne - and will therefore be able to carry on the work of the Bach Empire - and is the daughter of the mega-rich Burt Johnson (played by Nick Nolte). If he refuses to marry her, he will be disinherited.
Arthur begins to go along with his mother's plan - though reluctantly, as he really doesn't think much of the hard-faced Susan, despite her beauty. Then one day, while he is out, he encounters a young blonde woman Naomi Quinn (Greta Gerwig) taking foreign tourists on an illegal tour of New York. She is much more Arthur's kind of woman. Despite not being rich, she is fun and they get on well. But surely the relationship is doomed, with his arranged marriage the only way to keep him in the lifestyle he takes for granted?
The story is essentially a kind of Cinderella, nothing amazing or original, but fun and enough to keep the audience interested if the characters are well realised and we believe in them and care about their fates. Without that connection, the film will fail. Well, I am happy to report that the film ticked all the boxes for me. Arthur is the epitome of a lovable rogue and although you can tut-tut at his wayward behaviour, he is incredibly charming and you do want him to be happy. While Jennifer Garner is beautiful, she plays Susan with a cold ruthlessness which makes her quite unattractive. Greta Gerwig (who I hadn't heard of before) is more natural looking, pretty rather than beautiful and endows the character of Naomi with such warmth and humanity that everyone will love her.
Russell Brand does seem to be playing himself as Arthur in some respects. We all know about his years as a womanizer and "sex addict" and his drink and drugs addictions are well-documented too. Even the clothes he wears in Arthur look like ones he would happily wear in real life. He is absolutely perfect in the role of Arthur and comes across as witty, heaps of fun and incredibly charismatic. However, if you can't stand Russell Brand, you may not like this film either.
Casting Dame Helen Mirren as Hobson may initially seem a strange choice. In the 1980s movies, Hobson was a male butler and played beautifully and memorably by Sir. John Gielgud. However, the casting does work really well. Mirren is charming and perfect for the part, and the gender change is fine too. It seems just as feasible that Arthur would have a nanny as he would a butler and the chemistry between the two of them works really well. It is their relationship which is the heart of the movie and it is wonderful to watch such an unlikely pairing work so brilliantly.
It's a reasonably long film at 1 hour 50 minutes, but it is pacy and I didn't get bored at all. The humour is the driving force and despite some sadder moments, the overall tone remains consistently upbeat and funny. There are plenty of laugh-out-loud bits and it is a generally positive, fun film and you will come out of the cinema smiling and upbeat.
While 2011's Arthur is unlikely to make the impact that the original did thirty years ago, it is great fun and I wholeheartedly recommend it. I have heard quite a few negative reviews of it, but the three of us thoroughly enjoyed it and I would definitely consider buying it on DVD when it comes out. It is rated 12A in the UK and PG-13 in the US for some drug references, alcohol use, sexual content and language.