I went to an advance screening of Arthur last night and was very surprised with the film.
I walked in assuming that Arthur, starring Russell Brand, would be a non-stop barrage of vulgar comedy (much like Get Him to the Greek), and it was funny, but it was much more than just a comedy.
Sure, there are a few laughs. Arthur’s fish out of water shtick is amusing (but short lived) and his interactions with Jennifer Garner, who plays Susan, prove funny, but beneath that there is also a lot of heart.
Arthur is a super rich playboy who has no concept of money or reality. Arthur also has a bit of a problem with the hooch.
After a car chase (where Arthur drives a Batmobile through New York) he is given an ultimatum by his absentee mother, Vivian, who fears his bad behavior will jeopardize her company; Get married to Susan or lose his fortune.
At first Arthur is like ‘Alrighty’ but then he meets Naomi, played by Greta Gerwig, who is an awkward indie blonde with a passion for New York story telling.
Arthur falls for Naomi but can’t part from his money or addictions to be with her.
And this is where the movie surprised me.
Beneath the flash and comedic grabs is actually a candid story about struggling with addictions and being trapped in our lives.
It’s that sense of entrapment that I think will connect this film with the audience. Everyone faces issues of entrapment in their lives. Our jobs or classes dictate our free time and distract us from what we could be doing if we had all the money in the world.
And yet, with all the money in the world, Arthur is still trapped.
Are you going to be surprised by the ending?
Definitely not. But you might be surprised (like I was) at how badly you want that unsurprising ending.
Oh! I forgot how awesome Helen Mirren was! Check out this review which is bang on on her (and Chloe Sevigny) but dead wrong on everything else!