ARTHUR - 2011

Helen Mirren is a great actress, Russell Brand is wonderful if cast correctly, Luis Guzman, Jennifer Garner and Nick Nolte are fine performers. The problem with "ARTHUR" is that the story is very dark at its core and making it funny is a tricky business. Death, child neglect, intimidation, alcoholism, greed, sexual promiscuity and deceit are major themes in this tale. Finding humor is quite a task given this background. I laughed at several scenes in the film, but I cannot recommend this movie. The story is a nightmare, yet the goal is humor -- that is a difficult trick to pull off and it is possible that no more than 50% of the audience will enjoy this movie. I can envision folks not finding a funny scene in the entire show. THE original "ARTHUR" in 1981, with DUDLEY MOORE, LIZA MINNELLI, SIR JOHN GIELGUD AND TED ROSS, DID NOT SEEM AS DARK, BUT I THINK THAT WAS DUE TO MY BEING YOUNGER AND NOT LOOKING AS DEEPLY INTO THE SUBTEXT OF THE STORY. LITTLE DUDLEY MOORE WAS MORE LOVABLE THAN MUCH TALLER RUSSELL BRAND, AND THAT MADE IT EASIER TO OVERLOOK THE DARKNESS OF WHAT YOU WERE WATCHING ON THE SCREEN.

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