To provide a vehicle for third-rate British comedian Russell Brand? Because the kids won’t know the great Dudley Moore-John Gielgud 1981 Oscar-winning collaboration? Because the world may have forgotten that alcoholism isn’t funny?
If any of the above reasons is true, then this major movie misfire should result in the firing of anyone who ‘greenlit’ this cinematic abomination.
The once-timely storyline of a pampered habitually inebriated billionaire heir has no place in these sober belt-tightening times. What may have fit in the “Me” Money decade hits a sad note now as homes foreclose and unemployment lines lengthen.
Even Dudley Moore doing his drunk routine might not work today, but John Gielgud as the dry-witted butler-guardian Hobson would be hilarious anytime, anywhere. Here, we have Helen Mirren as the nanny-for-life. She’s hardly funny, saying less humorous lines. How can you compare Gielgud’s “Would you like me to wash your penis, sir?” to Mirren’s “Make sure you wash your winky.”?
While almost amateur Greta Gerwig as Arthur’s true love is no Lisa Minnelli, another miscast actor is Nick Nolte as the no-nonsense potential father-in-law in Arthur’s arranged marriage. Nolte is more slurry-drunk sounding than Brand, but he’s supposed to be sober.
“Arthur” is a movie to miss. It should not have been made.