Sunday, August 14, 2011

Arthur v. Arthur

I watch movies when I work out and for the past couple of days I watched the new and old versions of Arthur.  Arthur, 1981, is about a very rich young man who galavants a bit too much and is ultimately given a choice by his family to marry a wealthy young woman or lose all his dough.  Ditto for the 2011 version.

1981 starred Dudley Moore, John Gielgud and Liza Minnelli.   Moore is the young playboy; Gielgud the unflappable servant and Minnelli the person that Arthur falls in love with.  2011 stars Russell Brand, Helen Mirren and Greta Gerwig.   For my money Moore and Gielgud far outpaced Brand and Mirren.  But Brand and Mirren turn in credible performances. The 2011 version has Arthur being a bit more outside the realm - a bit wackier.  In my mind Gerwig far outshines Minnelli in the love interest.  Minnelli is annoying; Gerwig is charming.

There is one other role in the movie that bears notice.   The premise is that Arthur will be straightened up if he marries the right girl.  In 1981 the right girl was Jill Eikenberry.  She was directive but still a creature that was very much subsumed under her father.   In 2011 Jennifer Garner becomes Susan Johnson and is a lot more self directed - even ego maniacal.

Neither picture was designed to be something deep.  But both are charming and entertaining.

1 comment:

Lee said...

Local angle; Greta Gerwig grew up in River Park. (across the street from a friend which is the only reason I know.)