GENRE: '80s rom-com remake
THE PITCH: Arthur Bach (Russell Brand), a ridiculously rich corporate heir, takes pride in embarrassing his mother Vivienne (Geraldine James) with his drunken, childish exploits. Vivienne gives Arthur an ultimatum: either marry her right-hand-woman Susan (Jennifer Garner) or lose his inheritance. Things seem bleak until he meets Naomi (Greta Gerwig), a quirky, good-hearted tour guide. Soon Arthur must make the decision to get married and keep his money or lose it all by choosing true love.
MONEY SHOT: Arthur plans an elaborate first date with Naomi based on a quickly fabricated lie she told cops during their bizarre chance meeting. The fib involves a private dinner at Grand Central Station complete with a rose petal carpet, acrobats and Pez.
BEST BREAK UP COMEBACK: Susan confronts Arthur about giving her the cold shoulder after a previous tryst. Susan says, "You disappeared on me," to which Arthur quips, "When [Harry] Houdini did it, it was called fun."
KNOW YOUR POTUS: Vivienne tries to strike a peaceful truce with Arthur in her office. After a few barbs shared between the two, she asks why can't they compromise ..."Like that charming coffee-colored gentleman who runs our county is trying to do."
PRODUCT PLACEMENT: Arthur's car collection contains the Joel Schumacher Batmobile (and the Clooney nipple suit), the General Lee from "The Dukes of Hazzard," the Mystery Machine from "Scooby Doo," and the Delorean from the Back to the Future movies. Arthur tools around Manhattan in a 1956 Rolls-Royce. For his and Naomi's first date, Arthur has two custom Pez dispensers made. While we have no idea how much it actually costs to create a custom dispenser, the William and Catherine unique collectible Pez dispensers are going for about $12,517.
FROG AND TOAD: During one of Arthur and Naomi's rendezvous, Arthur takes Naomi to his favorite spot in Central Park. Once there, he reminisces about one of his favorite stories, "A Swim" from the Frog and Toad children's book series by Arnold Lobel.
SKIN FACTOR: If you are into lanky Brits in their skivvies, then you're in luck. Brand's Arthur makes a habit of muddling around his penthouse apartment and the New York streets in low cut briefs. In an attempt to be more spontaneous, Susan makes a surprise visit to Arthur's pad sporting an overcoat with a semi-sheer black lace corset underneath.
BOTTOM LINE: Writer Peter Baynham and director Jason Winer attempt to modernize the tale with more gags and one-liners, and lose some of the original's charm along the way. Where the original '80s character, played by Dudley Moore, laughed at the farce that was his life, Brand's take is childish and sophomoric. Brand seldom laughs at all, actually, and that's the rub - he's just kinda creepy. What does work fis the touching, maternal relationship between Brand's Arthur and Hobson (Helen Mirren), his full-time caretaker. Mirren's cold, stoic persona creates the perfect straight man for Brand's zingers, but more importantly she channels the same unconditional adoration for her ward as John Gielgud delivered in the original. If you're a Russell Brand fan, you'll enjoy this vehicle full of his signature eerie rants and buffoonery. Otherwise, expect a quaint but creepy romantic comedy.
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