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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Mr. Bean's Holiday


**½ Mr. Bean's Holiday. Comedy

Directed by: Steve Bendelack.
Starring: Rowan Atkinson, Emma de Caunes, Willem Dafoe, Max Baldry



We saw this with the boys at the Hercules.

Basically, if you watch the trailer, you've seen the movie. What is it with the current trend of showing the entire movie, or at least the best parts, and the punch lines to all the jokes, in the preview? I hate that! Anyway, Mr. Bean (Rowan Atkinson) wins a trip to the beach at Cannes, and the movie follows his misadventures getting there.

He inadvertently gets a young Russian boy (Max Baldry) separated from his father, a director on his way to the Cannes film festival, so he's taking care of the boy and trying to reunite him with his father. They're joined by actress Sabine (Emma de Caunes) on her way to the festival when she gives them a ride. Eventually it appears that Mr. Bean had kidnapped the boy, so they have the police on their trail.

One of the funniest parts in this movie was when director Carson Clay (Willem Dafoe) had edited out Sabine's debut role in his film, and Mr. Bean shows his vacation footage from his camcorder instead.

And there were quite a few funny moments. However, that's not enough for me. There wasn't much of a plot--it was just a series of comic sketches connected by a trip to Cannes. And too much went unexplained--lots of coincidences, and the odd discrepancies between the things Mr. Bean couldn't grasp and the things he could.

I suspect I'd have enjoyed the movie more if I'd known what to expect. The character of Mr. Bean himself really threw me--I didn't know why he couldn't speak, or why he acted to strangely, and it took me a while to realize I wasn't going to get an answer to those questions and just go with it. When we got home from the theater, we looked "Mr. Bean" up on Wikipedia, and it became much clearer. I should have done that before the movie.


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Comments:
Mr. Bean tends to be a polarizing character -- I used to watch him (back in Boston, the only channel that came in regularly was the PBS channel, and with the hours I kept I ended up watching either Monty Python, Blackadder, or Mr. Bean) and enjoy him, but theVet has never fully understood why.

I hate to be a snob, but I liked the original TV series far better than the first movie, as it was more tightly focussed, and he didn't actually say any words (communicating, instead, with grunts and odd facial poses) -- more effectively expressing how alien he was to the rest of us, I reckon.

All the reviews I've read of Mr. Bean's Holiday end up comparing it with the similarly titled Monsieur Hulot's Holiday (with Jacques Tati), one of those movies I keep meaning to watch (and I think we have it on TiVo -- I'll have to check) but never seem to get around to.
 
I'd seen the comparisons with Monsieur Hulot's Holiday, but ignored them, because I'd never seen it before. I've since put it in my Netflix queue to check out.

I got my older son Blackadder DVDs for Christmas--they seemed like his sense of humor.
 
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