Well here’s a British character who needs no introduction – Mr. Bean. A very odd mysfunctioning character of whom it would be hard to pin down a particular syndrome to in real life. They say that you either love him or you hate him. I think many people want to not like him and when they see him they want to not laugh. But in spite of themselves, they usually do laugh. Myself – I used to love Mr Bean, I found his antics and his incredibly rubbery face hilariously funny. But over the years he gradually he became irritating and tiresome to watch and I lost interest. So when my son said he wanted to see the new Bean film – Mr. Bean’s Holiday, I groaned.
But we watched it and I really enjoyed it. I wasn’t sure how much of my amusement was influenced by the infectious laughter of my little boy who loved it and he has this hearty laugh that comes from the bottom of his tummy which is so contagious that you can’t help laughing along with him. I had to watch the film again later with my daughter who couldn’t watch it with us because she had been rehearsing for a dance show staged by a Summer cheerleading school. It had been provided by the town borough council and was completely free. It was a great little scheme that proved extremely popular. They’ve been attending every day from 10am to 4pm which is ideal for working parents and at the end of each week the kids put on a dynamic little performance to show us what they’d been doing. It was an excellent show and we were all quite amazed at how these things come together after just one week of practice. Kudos to the youth leaders says I. They are committed and full of energy and enthusiasm.
Anyhoo, the film – I watched it again with my daughter but minus the aforementioned chuckle-activating son and I still laughed. It’s certainly not your Hollywood blockbuster but you should take no notice of the snobby film critics who’ve slated it and watch it with the kids. It’s good British (and French) fun and refreshingly un-Americanised. And it’s definitely worth mentioning the eleven-year-old co-star, Max Baldry who I think is excellent, especially given that some child-actors can be irritatingly twee. And for the men, there’s the oh-so-pretty Emma de Caunes who is very sweet and lovely.
Basically, it’s just the usual Bean incompetence . . . the painfully frustrating plans going disastrously wrong. But along with the daft antics he gets himself into and the rare moments of endearing charm he pulls out now and then, it’s pleasingly funny and uplifting. The best scene of all in my view was the market scene where he his busking to raise money. Sooo funny.
Rowan Atkinson for me will always be best as the utterly brilliant Blackadder but his Mr. Bean has not aged at all. His return was fresh and funny and because of his ten-year retirement, I think I was ready for one more try with him. I do think he should leave it there now but all in all, it’s great, warm-hearted fun. I smiled all the way through – and for some time after.
By the way, the title of this post was the original title of the film. Not sure why they changed it.