Few days ago I’ve watched Arthur. As for modern comedy (they’re not making good comedies anymore) it was quite entertaining. I was actually pretty surprised because I don’t like Russell Brand, but in this movie he was quite good. Maybe because he is so similar to character he’s playing, so he wasn’t playing a lot. However I wonder how much of his IRL behavior, which is quite extravagant, is real. Anyway, this picture is entertaining and I don’t feel that I’ve wasted my time watching it, but original Arthur was better. Why? Let me break my answer into points:
1. Object of Arthur’s love.
In the original this role was played by Liza Minnelli, do I really need to say more. In the new version it’s Greta Gerwig and she’s “plastic”, not very pretty, has no charm. Generally I don’t like her. Also I’ve preferred this character to be a shoplifter than unlicensed tour guide. It simply felt better. The story they’ve made up to fool the police was also better in the old one. This new girl just seemed to be more like a wallpaper than a character which is really important to the movie.
2. Arthur’s fiancee
Maybe Jill Eikenberry was not much impressive as Susan, but Jennifer Garner was just awful. Garner has no ability to play with the face, she could be replaced by car crush dummy and nobody would spot the difference. She’s pretty, but it’s not enough. She was not convincing at all.
3. Arthur’s chauffeur
Luis Guzmán was total misunderstanding. I haven’t smiled once on his “jokes”. I believe he and Jennifer Garner attended the same acting classes, if any.
As I love Helen Mirren, she is in top ten on my list of favorite actresses, I must say that John Gielgud was more convincing as a nanny. And I think that a man was better choice for this character. When in original movie Hobson was dying I’ve felt really sad, now it was just a glimpse of a feeling. Also connection between Arthur and Hobson felt stronger in the old movie.
5. Absence of grandmother
Where is Arthur’s grandmother?! She added depth to original movie and Arthur felt more legit when you saw that he has his insanity in blood.
Generally new version is simple comedy and old one is comedy/drama. In old movie I was really feeling Arthur’s confusion and grief. New one is just pure entertainment. You don’t have to think, your feelings wouldn’t activate for a single second. It’s simply shallow. Still good fun for lazy evening. They’ve skipped a lot from original story and it was generally bad idea.
Last thing. Why I have written such a long text about such average movie and I’ve skipped such good ones as for instance Inception? I don’t know. It worries me:)