RUSSELL BRAND HELEN MIRREN GRETA GERWIG JENNIFER GARNER NICK NOLTE
The problem with a film like this is that no one really cares. No one wants to see a movie about this or like this, mostly because it’s been done better and many times before. Not even counting the fact that it is a remake of the 1981 film of the same name, but Billy Madison might as well also be thrown in as a remake with a different title. Russell Brand basically plays himself in every film, which takes away what I would presume to be much of the comedy. He isn’t delivering anything different here from what he did with Get Him to the Greek or Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Oscar winning actress Helen Mirren takes a huge misstep with this frumpy, predictable and rather boring role. Gerwig, Garner and Nolte are just desperate actors looking for any kind of work.
It’s only his body that looks grown up, says Hobson (Mirren), referring to Arthur, (Brand) the spoiled heir to fortune. Arthur spends his mother’s money like a child eating candy, buying Batmobile’s and having wild sex parties. His mother (Geraldine James) finally gives him an ultimatum: either marry Susan Johnson (Garner), who works at the company, or lose all the inheritance. Arthur tries to live in the real world for a few hours, but realizes he doesn’t want to work or have any obligation. But after meeting the charming Naomi (Gerwig), he doesn’t want to marry “velvet lips” Susan either.
On the one hand you expect the film's minor tragedy to change Arthur for the better; however, this isn’t even a film about growing up, it’s just full of mindless scenes that string together in a pathetic attempt to convey some sort of story without a moral. Usually I find Helen Mirren entertaining, even in small roles like State of Play or The Last Station. However, here she was as dull as Brand. Even if the scene where Mirren wears the Darth Vader mask and says “wash your winkie” would have been funny, we saw it so many times in the trailer that it was already diluted.
The biggest problem with Russell Brand is that he is a one act comedian that producers have tried to make into an actor. Brand, like most comedians, have no range and can only be cast in certain roles that fit the kind of routine they deliver. Jennifer Garner, arguably one of the worst actors in Hollywood, lends nothing to this project. Even the awkward Gerwig, who has built a reputation on quirky supporting roles, isn’t worth watching.
Final Thought – Boringly dull and severely miscast.
By: Dustin Chase W.
Editor: Michael Woody