Two things are inevitable in Hollywood, remakes and them trying to cash in on something controversial that they perceive to be popular, so I can imagine that a Hollywood executive literally came in his pants at the thought of Russell Brand. A fine sounding English gentleman with a sort of damaged charm, I can imagine them going what would be the perfect film for this gentleman to play? Let’s think what we know about him, he’s a recovering alcoholic, he loves sex and beautiful women and despite this is still rather likeable despite being what many would consider a twat. So what vehicle did they choose for this lovable vogue? How about a film that completely mirrors his own personal life? because let’s be honest the less he has to act the better. They choose to remake the 1981 Dudley more classic Arthur and what follows are my thoughts on it.
The story of Arthur is your typical Hollywood coming of age movie, Arthur has everything, money, woman and a motherfucking bat mobile from the movies and yet his life is empty (I don’t know about you but I’d be pretty happy with a bat mobile). His life goes from a party to sex with a strange freaky girl and back to partying again, his only friends in the world are his nanny (yes they are aware that a 30 year old with a nanny is stupid they say so in the film) and his chauffer, so basically all his friends are people that are paid to be in his company. His father is also dead and his mother is a distant bitch but this very rarely comes up in the larger scale of the film. All this hard partying and drinking is not to last though and in a rather unforeseen twist it’s thanks to girl. Arthur meets this girl who for the first time in his life is not interested in his money and he strives to change in order to woo her, eventually choosing to give up everything for just a chance to be with her. What follows is your typical boy learns what’s important in life and I don’t think I’ll be shocking anyone when I say that he does get the girl in the end.
I find Russell to be very believable in this role but that might have something to do with the fact that he is just playing Russell Brand but his co star on the other hand is just wonderful. She seems to perfectly capture the childlike wonder that was present in her character and I wanted to be a better man just by watching her. This film is called Arthur and that was very much par for the course when it comes to this film, this film is very much the Russell Brand show and everyone else (even the lovely Helen Mirren) are just bit actors. They get very little screen time and when they are on screen they are simply pushed out of the way by Russell’s all powerful personality.
This is an inoffensive film in that you can just leave it on in the background, you’ll occasionally laugh but you won’t remember anything from this film. There is very little substance in this film and its overarching message about how money doesn’t bring happiness is just lost in the russellness of this film. I thought it was ok but that was it, this coupled with the poor cast and although there are a few laughs they are too far and between to be really significant. I wouldn’t really recommend this film to anyone and wouldn’t even consider this a rainy afternoon film. It’s a rather shallow shameless film that only exists to force Russelll Brand on an American audience.