Movie Review: Arthur (2011)

Starring: Russell Brand, Helen Mirren and Jennifer Garner

Directed by: Jason Winer

Arthur is a rich, drunken playboy who has no regard for anything except himself having a great time. After disappointing his mother again with his actions he’s given an ultimatum, marry Susan, a business woman within his mother’s company or lose his inheritance. Just as the ultimatum gets handed out he meets Naomi who Arthur thinks is perfect for him. Arthur needs to decide whether he can live without the money or love.

Arthur is a remake of the 1981 movie of the same title. I haven’t seen the original so I have no idea how this compares but I’m a big fan of Helen Mirren as she is usually great in everything I’ve seen her in. This movie was no different, she plays Hobson who is Arthur’s nanny and best friend and somebody who he sees as a proper motherly figure. Hobson is charming and rather unintentionally funny and she only ever wants to protect Arthur from being hurt. Her chemistry with Russell Brand was a strange combination but also really nice to watch.

Moving swiftly on to Russell Brand. I’ve never been his biggest fan but after watching Forgetting Sarah Marshall last year I’ve warmed up to the idea of him as an actor and comedian. I really enjoyed that movie and he was a big reason why. He plays the title character in Arthur and is truly hilarious throughout and his lines almost felt like they were mostly improvised as I can’t imagine anybody else but Russell Brand thinking of some of the things he says in this film. He’s a joy to watch but one of the weirdest things that I didn’t understand was why he had to act as Arthur by putting on an even more annoying voice than his regular one. After finishing the movie I had a quick little YouTube search of the original Arthur movie and for me Russell Brand was imitating Dudley Moore.

The rest of the cast was packed full of talented actors including Jennifer Garner, Luis Guzman and Nick Nolte. All of them do a fine job as part of the supporting cast and all add depth to the story and to Arthur’s character development as he tries to mature and enter the real world in order to win over the love of his life. Greta Gerwig plays Naomi, who is Arthur’s real love interest and the chemistry between the pair is great. Both actors play off each other really well and the movie really benefits as a whole with a believable romantic element.

This version of Arthur appears to get a lot of hate, especially on IMDb but I think this is mostly from fans of the original movie. I found it to be rather delightful, a little bit silly at times but that’s just the nature of Russell Brands comedy, silly and eccentric. This is never going to be a great movie in the traditional sense of the word but for a comedy it provides a lot of laughs but also has some great emotional displays of acting too.

On the basis of this movie I would like to check out the original at some point just so I can compare and see which is better.


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