ARTHUR (Jason Winer)
ARTHUR is a predictable tale that we have seen countless times already. What makes it bearable is the presence of Russell Brand. Without him, the film just falls apart. Oddly enough, every other actor works in conjunction to him, except Jennifer Garner, who surprisingly makes a fool of herself.
Basically the plot is about a rich man who is forced into a loveless marriage, then there's the poor pretty girl, then the perpetual conflict of how to tell the pretty girl he is about to be married.
As the fun-loving, alcoholic, and carefree billionaire, Russell Brand brings his own brand of comic timing and wit into a somewhat lifeless story, making the film not only watchable, but hilarious. ARTHUR has its moments, and while I may not have watched the original 1981 film, this version is a real laugh-getter.
Helen Mirren as Arthur's nanny Hobson is prim and proper and is along for the comedic ride; Greta Gerwig is just sunny to look at (because the storyline involving her character is such a cliche) and even Luis Guzman as the family driver is outrageous. Nick Nolte's presence though is stiff as a cactus. He looked like he woke up on the wrong side of the bed and marched into the set clueless.
I am enraged by what happened to Jennifer Garner's character. Hers could have been a dynamic one, instead of being reduced into a scheming bridezilla. I sincerely believe the writers ought to have done a lot more improving her character. Jennifer Garner can effectively play a heartless villain, as what ARTHUR proves, but the bad writing ruined her otherwise noteworthy change of screen persona.
Anyways, I paid to see Russell Brand. And in that department, my money was well-spent. I noticed him in FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL and GET HIM TO THE GREEK and discovered there is a strange brand of humor that he brings that glues me to the screen. I am all praise for Brand in ARTHUR. He can be funny, outrageous, and sincere when he needs to.