Director: Jason Winer (TV’s ‘Modern Family’)
Starring: Russell Brand, Jennifer Garner, Helen Mirren, Greta Gerwig (’No Strings Attached’)
Review Written by: Karen Benardello
Mixing a controversial comic and an award-winning television director to remake a classic comedy movie usually paves the way for a successful film. Warner Bros. drew attention to its remake of the hit 1981 comedy film ‘Arthur’ when it announced it cast Russell Brand in the title role, as the actor is possibly more well to American audiences for his personal life than his career. But even the comedian’s eccentric and surprisingly relatable portrayal of Arthur can’t completely save first-time film director Jason Winer’s re-visioning of the hit Dudley Moore movie.
‘Arthur’ follows the title character as he goes through life not taking responsibility seriously. Arthur forgoes getting a real job or taking on his family’s legacy at their foundation, Bach Worldwide, to instead drink and party. When his mother, Vivienne (portrayed by Geraldine James), give Arthur an ultimatum to either marry his ex-girlfriend, corporate executive Susan Johnson (played by Garner), or give up his inheritance, Arthur reluctantly agrees to go ahead with the marriage.
With the help of his life-long nanny Hobson (portrayed by Mirren), Arthur realizes that he truly loves Naomi Quinn (played by Gerwig), a tour guide he meets at Grand Central Station. While Naomi has romantic feelings for Arthur, she doesn’t want to have an affair with someone who’s engaged to someone else. So Arthur does whatever he can to hold onto both Naomi and his inheritance, much to the dismay of his mother and Susan.
While Brand rose to fame in the movie industry with his break-out role of the womanizing rock star Aldous Snow in the hit 2008 comedy and its 2010 spin-off ‘Get Him to the Greek,’ he showed his acting versatility in ‘Arthur.’ While Warner Bros. took a chance on Brand when they hired him to revive Moore’s character, the comic surprisingly proved he can adapt to any comedic role he’s cast in.
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