Mr. Bean's Holiday

Release Date: August 24, 2007
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Movie of the Day for Wednesday, June 20, 2007
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Position Staff In Brief
95/214 Max Braden Mostly just kid-friendly humor. There's actually a funny running bit on misdialed people throughout France.

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While we here at BOP are partial to Rowan Atkinson's work on the uproarius Black Adder, he is probably best known internationally for his portrayal of the man child Mr. Bean. The differences between his two most famous characters are fascinating. Blackadder is a wry, snarky character, and much of the comedy on the show comes from the ability to deliver lines just so. Mr. Bean, on the other hand, rarely speaks, and when he does, it is for maximum impact. No, Mr. Bean primarily turns on Atkinson's ability with physical comedy, and when he is at his very best, the British television series is a subversive riot.

Somehow, though, it just didn't quite translate well to film. Bean, the first movie to feature the character, was a bit disappointing with regard to quality. I had suspected before its release that it would be difficult to transform a 20-25 minute bit of sketch comedy into a full-length motion picture, and for the most part, that fear was justified. There were bits and pieces of Bean that were quite funny, but as a whole, it fell flat. Still, that didn't stop the film from making $45 million in North America and $232 million worldwide. Incidentally, that money came a decade ago, so with inflation, Bean would be an even larger success by today's dollars.

With the mistakes of Bean behind them, the producers of the sequel, Mr. Bean's Holiday, take an approach that works better with the character's strengths. He goes on a vacation to the French Riviera, where he has a tremendous adventure amidst a comedy of errors. When he grows tired of London and its boring rainy season, Mr. Bean picks up his camcorder and goes to Cannes for an enjoyable bit of time on the beach. Naturally, he stumbles into any number of mishaps, which turn out to mesh perfectly into an avant garde film. Ever the man who is in the wrong place at the wrong time, he is mistaken for a kidnapper and must go on the run to try to clear his name. By the movie's end, he'll either be caught and sent to prison, or walking the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival. I'm willing to bet which one it turns out to be. (Kim Hollis/BOP)

Vital statistics for Mr. Bean's Holiday
Main Cast Rowan Atkinson, Emma de Caunes, Jean Rochefort
Supporting Cast Antoine de Caunes, Willem Dafoe
Director Steve Bendelack
Screenwriter Robin Driscoll, Hamish McColl
Distributor Universal
Official Site
Rating PG
Screen Count 1,713
Talent in red has entry in The Big Picture



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