Let me begin with saying that I am opposed to remakes in general. It frustrates me that we have so little original ideas left that we feel compelled to recycle old ones–whether they are good or bad. With that said, I should confess that although I liked the original 1981 film Arthur I am not a member of its ” the best movie ever” fan club. It is a memorable, unique classic with iconic performances that did not need to be remade, but I do not consider it scared material. If they added enough contemporary elements it could be successful new version for a new generation. Unfortunately, the new Arthur fails to do that and again, the original film is the winner.
The problem could be Russell Brand. He is not as lovable as Dudley Moore and his alcoholism isn’t quite as charming. Or maybe it was the lack of chemistry between Russell and his leading lady Greta Gerwig (who can not be as delightful as Liza Minneli). I am not completely sure…but something is off.
I like some of the modern twists. Helen Mirren as Hobson was brilliant–and I enjoyed Jennifer Garner as a more evil Susan Johnson. But most of the changes seem forced and unnatural.
Overall, I did laugh at some of the jokes and liked the relationship between Brand and Mirren–but that was not enough to save the rest of the film.
Another remake failure–but do not worry…they will try again in a few years–and this time Arthur will be a woman who has a pot problem and is…ah! who cares!