Let’s get something straight, right off the bat: I like Russell Brand. Seeing him in only two roles (albeit both of which he played the same character), he’s funny in a light-hearted way, without being too grating or resorting to shtick.
In the trailer for Arthur, a remake of the 1981 comedy starring the late Dudley Moore, Brand’s interpretation of the titular character skews more neurotic than erotic, which is interesting considering Brand’s on- and off-screen persona, as well as the playboy role that Moore originated.
Arthur is heir to a fortune of nearly a billion dollars. To attain the family riches, his mother is forcing him to give up his life of leisure (although driving the Batmobile with Luis Guzman and sparring with Evander Holyfield sounds like an honest day’s work to me) and marry a carnivorous executive-type, played probably too softly by Jennifer Garner. Along the way, he meets cute with another girl (No Strings Attached’s Greta Gerwig), and, well, you get the idea.
Based on the trailer, I would probably be willing to see Arthur, for no other reason than Russell Brand. That said, I have a bad feeling that the trailer has already shown its hand, revealing the big laughs prematurely. It gets points for use of the aforementioned Guzman, as well as Helen Mirren (who seems to be everywhere nowadays) as Arthur’s no-nonsense nanny-cum-housekeeper. A deduction must be made, however, for the use of Queen and David Bowie’s Under Pressure, a song utilized in so many trailers that its use has fast become hackneyed and cliché.
That said, the trailer for Arthur does what it is supposed to do: shows the rich playboy living it up, inviting us to revel along side him in all of our vicarious glory.
Arthur comes out April 8th.