Saturday, April 02, 2011

Saturday at the Movies #37 - Caught between the moon and New York City

I was too young to see Arthur when the Dudley Moore version came out in 1981, though I found the premise intriguing. Spoiled rich ne'er do well has an ultimatum; marry the woman chosen by his family or he's cut off to live a life he's never been prepared to lead, and let's not forget the iconic theme song, written by Burt Bacharach, Carol Bayer Sager, Peter Allen (a former Mr. Liza Minelli) and Christopher Cross, who performs it.

Though I've seen snatches of the original, notably Dudley Moore riding in a limousine, I think through Central Park, and some extremely brief bits with Liza Minelli, (Liza Minnelli isn't my favorite, but she does have a certain charm) I still haven't seen the whole thing. Since 1981 is close enough to the 70s to count, we're in NYC, there's a romance, and from the bits I've seen, Mr. Moore is in fine fettle, this is really a no-brainer and I must search for the DVD. While there is a sequel, Arthur 2: On The Rocks, I have a hunch that pretending it doesn't exist will make me happier than seeing it if I like the original.

The no-brainer gets a bit more complicated with the advent of -gasp- a remake. Normally, I'm not in favor of remakes, and Russell Brand isn't normally my thing, but my very first thought when my brain registered the combination of actor and role in this one was "of course!" The Arthur we see in this trailer strikes me as more childlike than alcoholic, which may put a different spin on things, and his unsuitable love interest is a tour guide instead of a waitress. Plus we get Helen Mirren as Hobson, this time Arthur's nanny instead of valet (as played by John Gielgud in the Moore version.)

Both look like different flavors of silliness with some deeper undercurrents, exactly the kind of comedies I like. Plus UK people in NYC always get my attention. No idea if the song will appear in the remake, but even if it isn't, I'll put it on my mp3 player when I go to the theater.

Which Arthur tempts you more?

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