Arthur Newman (2012)

Arthur-Newman-POSTERBy: Oberst Von Berauscht (Four Beers) –
How many beers do you recommend for this movie?
1 Beer! A Toast! Great Movie!2 Beers! Good Movie!3 Beers! Okay Movie!4 Beers! Mediocre Movie!5 Beers! Awful Movie!6-Pack! Bad movie! Do not be Sober!

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Wallace Avery (Colin Firth) is a divorced mid level store manager and failed golf pro tired with his life.  So he decides to end it, not through suicide, but by adopting a new identity “Arthur Newman”.  So he sets out to purchase a fake identity and announces to anyone he knows of his intention to take a trip to the beach (where he sets up an elaborate suicide hoax).  On his first day as Arthur, Wallace encounters a young woman attempting suicide by overdose of cough syrup.

Nyquil

Editor’s note: placement of NyQuil ad il advised..

He takes her to the hospital and stays by her side as she recovers.  The young woman (Emily Blunt) gives her name as Mike, and decides to accompany Arthur on a road trip.  It quickly emerges that both Arthur and Mike are using fake identities, a strange coincidence they bond over, as they embark on their strange cross-country journey.

A Toast

Colin Firth and Emily Blunt give their all in creating two genuinely unique characters.  As Wallace Avery/ Arthur Newman, Firth admirably puts himself out of his comfort zone.  His character lives a boring, unexceptional life, and he is determined to change it for the better.  In his mind, he feels that abandoning everything he built in his life was a failure.  As Mike, Emily Blunt plays a broken individual who lives in constant fear of falling into insanity, because her mother and sister both suffered from it.

crazyeyes

Crazy is, as crazy does

Beer Two

It is unfortunate that director Dante Ariola fails utterly to make the movie interesting.  The novel concept and performances can’t save a movie that chugs along at a snail’s pace, even as it veers from scene to scene with little context or reason.  The film presents many moments that are intriguing, even funny.  But when the context and reasons for these moments aren’t provided, there is ultimately no reason to care about it.

Beer Three

Lucas Hedges, the teenage actor playing Wallace’s son, has only one emotion:

lucas-hedges

Stink Face

Beer Four

Perhaps the film’s greatest weakness is in its non-ending.  Ambiguous endings have to be earned, and without making much of a dramatic impact, the film lost its right to one.

Verdict

4Beers

A movie perhaps too in love with its own quirky concept, that it forgets to have a point.

 

Drinking Game

Take a Drink: any time Colin Firth and Emily Blunt have an awkward sex scene. (Protip: Imagine Firth in character as King George VI)

Take a Drink: anytime Wallace Avery’s son gives the stink face

Do a Shot: each time the characters arrive at a new hotel

About Oberst von Berauscht

Oberst Von Berauscht once retained the services of a Gypsy to imbue in him the ability to accurately describe the artistic qualities of a film up to seven decimal points. To maintain this unique skill, he must feast on the blood of a virgin every Harvest Moon, or failing that (and he usually does), he can also make a dog do that thing they do where they twist their heads slightly (you know, when they’re confused about something) at least a few times a week. I’ve gotten way off track here… The point is, Oberst is one of the website’s founders, so… yeah

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