Russell Brand is king of the spring box office with ‘Arthur’
The new comedy, “Arthur,” released on April 8, shows viewers what it means to have to make a difficult choice, while still making them laugh.
In the modern-day remake of the 1981 original “Arthur,” Brand plays Arthur Bach, a fun-loving heir to billions of dollars who loves to spend frivolously and drink a lot. While he has the body of man, he has the spirit of a child.
His outrageous antics are always being published in the media, and he is on a first-name basis with the New York Police Department. He is constantly putting his family’s company in jeopardy of losing investors.
Fed up with her son’s behavior, Arthur’s unloving mother forces him to choose. He must marry the respectable and bright Susan Johnson, played by Jennifer Garner, who he does not love, or he will lose all of his inheritance.
Arthur reluctantly enters into an engagement with Susan. Shortly after, he meets the love of his life: an ordinary girl from Queens. Arthur must decide what is more important to him, love or money.
While the plot is similar, there are several differences between this movie and the 1981 film featuring Dudley Moore and Liza Minnelli.
Arthur’s nanny Hobson is played by a male actor in the 1981 movie, but, in this remake, the character is played by actress Helen Mirren.
In the film, Mirren is quick-witted, and her character has many one-liners that catch the audience off guard. Her role as Arthur’s nanny creates an emotional connection with the audience. She offsets Brand’s wildness with her serious demeanor, which makes them a great duo.
Hobson and Arthur have an undeniable bond: they truly love and care about each other, similar to a mother and son relationship.
The film reveals another side of Russell Brand. Instead of the outright funny and crude roles he is known for playing in the past, Brand brought an understated humor in this role.
While he is likely to be compared to Moore, Brand makes the character, and the movie, his own.
Unlike the original however, the music in the film leaves a lot to be desired. While it vaguely incorporates a remake of the original theme song “Arthur’s Theme (Best You Can Do),” the film lacks a strong soundtrack to fully engage the audience.
This is not just a one-dimensional comedy ripped off from the original. Director Jason Winer recreates a classic without making it predictable or dull.
Kristyn Lyncheski can be reached at email@example.com.