Zach Davis

Directed by: Jason Winer

Starring: Russell Brand, Helen Mirren, Greta Gerwig, Jennifer Garner, Geraldine James, Luis Guzman, and Nick Nolte

A remake of the 1981 hit of the same name, Arthur delivers a modern take on high society and New York.  While the 1981 version garnered four Academy Award nominations and two wins, the 2011 remake doesn’t seem to capture the same magic, albeit it does very well on its own.

Arthur (Russell Brand), the playboy son of a rich industrialist (Geraldine James), is set to be the sole heir of the Bach Company and all its assets.  As headlines parade the daily papers with Arthur’s wild antics, investors are becoming weary of the company’s future.  Arthur’s mother decides an ultimatum is in order.  Either her son marries the ambitious and successful Susan Johnson (Jennifer Garner), or he’ll be cut off from his inheritance.  This does not suit Arthur as he has no desire to be with Susan, and wants to marry a woman whom he truly loves.  Fearing the loss of his money however, Arthur agrees to the terms set by his mother, that is, until he meets local tour guide Naomi (Greta Gerwig) who shares his same upbeat, magical view of the world.  With the help of his nanny Hobson (Helen Mirren) and his chauffeur Bitterman (Luis Guzman) Arthur tries to find a way to keep his money and be happy.

Dudley Moore’s iconic Arthur left big shoes to fill.  Russell Brand was more than the man for the job.  An overgrown child himself, his antics and snappy comebacks more than carry this movie and make us all have soft spots in our hearts for the spoiled heir.

Helen Mirren took on the role of Hobson, previously cast as the Oscar winning John Gielgud.  Mirren, a tough dame herself, was a great fit to counter Arthur’s outlandish behavior and style.

Greta Gerwig did a great job as well, coming off as the girl next door and the perfect partner for Arthur.  For once, Jennifer Garner got to play the antagonist and showed us some true talent as the mildly sociopathic Susan.  Acknowledgement has to be given to Nick Nolte too, for his role as Susan’s psychotic father.  His character intimidates Arthur and motivates him to marry his daughter.

Overall, the film was very well done and enjoyable.  A glass of wine is all you need to make it through this splendid remake.  Arthur gets a 0.06% rating.