Take Arthur for 2011 not 19815/10
The original Arthur, was and is a great film. It was funny, well written and well acted. It garnered 4 Oscar nominations and 2 wins. It won 4 out of 5 Golden Globes. John Gielgud so deserved his award so well that year. Dudley Moore, in the title character, had the same lovable charm that Russel Brand has in this remake. But, there are several things missing which make the 2011 version an OK film, and not a part of cinema awards. First, its 2011 and not 1981. The original version would never be made today. Plain and simple. Arthur was a drunk. A hard drinker, who fell down, slurred words,and yes, even was driving drunk in several scenes. No way would that get approved today, or anyone think it was funny. It was this funny drunk that made Dudley's Arthur so much fun, even though today we would rush for interventions or rehab. Second, the director forgot this is a New York film. It is set in New York, but so much changed from one film to the other that the setting was indifferent here. No more neighborhood bars, dinners, landmark shopping sites, or eateries. There is one really good scene involving Grand Central, but it does not make up for the lack in the rest of the film. Linda becomes Naomi in the new film. She is not a New Yorker. Does not look like one, or act like one. She plays the part well, but its just not the same. Again, this remake could be set anywhere. Can you imagine the original anywhere but NY! Third, as good as Helen Mirrim is, she is not the Hobson that John Gielgud presented. She will not get any awards for this presentation. So, if you do not make any comparisons, you will like the film, but most likely not fall in love with it for 30 years. The film is well acted, written in parts, but it steals one lines too much from the original, that just seemed forced here or are not well placed. Whereas we see Arthur drink, he never really seems drunk. The relationship with Hobson is presented as a mother/son, rather than father/son. It was hard to believe in the relationship as much as the previous film. The chemistry between Arthur and Naomi was believable and flow very well throughout the film. Susan Johnson, played by Jennifer Garner had much more of a role here than the original. It needed to be reverted back. It was just not funny. Lastly, Nick Nolte was just plain horrible and nasty. He could have been written out completely. It made no sense for plot development. So, the new Arthur is as an OK remake, but not as good as it could have been.