September 1, 2011

September 1, 2011

In My Opinion: Arthur

You KNOW I’m the very last person on earth to recommend a romantic comedy. I’ve only seen a handful of them (even those not by choice), and I find their lack of explosions disappointing. More power to those who enjoy will they/won’t they drama on the big screen. Just not my cup of tea.

But oh how I loved Arthur.

The recent release, starring Russell Brand, Jennifer Garner, and Helen Mirren, is a remake of a 1981 film starring Dudley Moore as the titular spoiled playboy. Arthur, you see, is heir to the sort of vast fortune that allows him to buy whatever, whenever. He has a Batmobile, a bed supported solely with magnets, and days full of nothing but free time. Unfortunately, Arthur was not subject to the sort of fundamental upbringing many of us were, and thus lacks any sort of discipline or self-control. And when you have a Batmobile, self-control is really key. (Ask Batman. He’ll tell you.)

When Arthur’s hijinks land him increasingly bad press, his mother decides that the only way to fix things is to (wait for it) force him to marry Susan, one of the family business’s VIPs. That way Susan can run the company (keeping it in the family) and Arthur can quietly continue his loutish ways. But Susan is not the sort of tolerant, gentle soul required to keep a manchild in check. She’s more the sort of person that starts with “b” and ends with “all-buster.”

So that’s the conflict.

Enter the complication: Naomi, an adorable free-spirit Arthur meets when he ends up on her illegal tour of Grand Central Station. Naomi is everything that Susan is not; the sort of character you just KNOW Zooey Deschanel passed on.

The rest of the movie is confusion blah blah blah declaration of true love blah blah blah comeuppance blah blah blah denounement. Idk, romantic comedies, whatever.

The plot is not what I enjoyed about this movie.

The script, and Russell Brand’s delivery of it, is what I enjoyed about this movie.

So many throwaway lines. Witticisms. Britishisms. Smart, sharp, subtle humor. Sure, there was plenty of ribald over-the-top stuff, too. You can’t have a movie about a playboy (starring the man married to Katy Perry) without a little zaniness. But overall, this film felt SMART. And that is not a feeling I often get from movies aimed at the ladies. (You’ve no idea how many times I’ve been the only woman in a theatre, just because the film in question featured soldiers, or cowboys sans aliens, or the Crusades. BUT I’M NOT BITTER.)

Not sure whether I’m ready for Russell Brand’s comedy, but I do hope to see him in more stuff on the big screen. Or the little one.

0 Fish in a Sea of Diet Coke: