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mr. bean's holiday
Click for full sized poster

Mr. Bean's Holiday

Starring Rowan Atkinson, Willem Dafoe, Emma de Caunes, Jean Rochefort
Screenplay by Robin Driscoll, Hamish McColl
Based on a character by Mr. Atkinson
Directed by Steve Bendelack

IN SHORT: for the l'il kidlets. [Rated G. 85 minutes]

It was a matter of heated discussion between critics before sitting for Rowan Atkinson's Mr. Bean's Holiday -- how many words would Mr. Atkinson actually utter during the 85 or so minutes of screen time? Cranky figured half a dozen, tops. Turns out were halfway right - you do the math - while Atkinson gently fiddled about with genial, average comedy. Quite disappointing actually, given how incredibly funny we've seen the man be in other work.

To be fair, Mr. Bean is and always has been about a journey from Point A to Point B with gags being generated by ordinary things, people and occurrances in between. In this particular case, Mr. Bean wins a church raffle with the grand prize of a week's vacation on the beach at Cannes, France. That, plus a compact video camera with which to record his adventures, is all Atkinson needs to set up the next eighty minutes of fun stuff. Well, there is the kidnaping of the son of a famous director; the rescue of a fair French maiden from villainous Nazis; and a whole mess of old jokes involving missed train connections and the fact that the French won't join the modern world and speak English like everyone else. It's all quite average . . .

. . . well, this is is a movie review site and we know y'all are neck deep in movie stuff; much more than the average bear. So when Bean gets to Cannes at the start of the world famous Film Festival, you pretty well know where this film is ultimately heading. Good thing, too, because it is only once the in jokes start flying that Mr. Bean's Holiday becomes something much funnier than average.

It's a long wait in a short movie -- all comedies are, by definition, short. Most cannot sustain a running gag past 90 minutes and we're keeping this review short because we're dangerously close to spilling far too much already.

Right in the middle of the world famous film festival. You'll figure it the best jokes long before guest star Willem Dafoe, as a director premiering his latest piece of Art at the Festival, starts yapping the kind of film student pretentious crap yap we've complained about for years, but you'll be laughing too hard when it happens, to think much about how long it took to get to the giggles.

More to the point, Bean isn't for adults - of which we consider ourself to be one. Cranky was planted next to a quartet of kidlets, we're guessing ages ten down to six or five, and they were consistently giggling throughout (at least) three quarters of the movie. They didn't shift restlessly in their seats for that other quarter, whichi makes Mr. Bean's Holiday a workable place to parental units stash the kids for a bit.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Mr. Bean's Holiday, he would have paid . . .


If you have kids, take 'em.

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