Arthur (1981)

Written and directed by Steve Gordon
(number 355)

First impression: oh, I love this song…

Second impression: Arthur’s so freaking annoying, my god. Stop making stupid jokes, stop laughing at your own stupid jokes. Just stop.

Maybe it’s the current political climate, or the extreme eighties love for capitalism but it is quite hard for me to feel sympathy for the overly privileged white man child. Perhaps if his laugh and jokes weren’t so annoying. But the problem being that he’s cut off if he doesn’t make the politically convenient marriage is rather Bertie and Wooster-ish which I kind of enjoy. But overall, urgh. I don’t know why I should care that his life of driving drunk and taking prostitutes home to deal with his surly valet is in jeopardy.

The settings are all very lush, as you’d imagine for a movie about a stupidly rich man, the fashion is rather impressive in an early 80s way. The wedding dress and bridesmaids are just incredible. So many frills and so much lace and wide brimmed hats. Stunning really. The Burt Bacharach soundtrack is pretty good too, not that I’d listen to it on its own but it suits the film very well.

Does it make me love the people? Okay I do quite like Hobson. He has as little patience with Arthur as I do, although he is rather discriminatory. Arthur I cannot bring to love, especially since I’m pretty sure he told the man married to the loud woman who lives near Linda to beat her so she wouldn’t be so loud.

I guess I love Linda, she’s sweet if a little two dimensional – being the sassy Liza Minelli sort of character and falling in love with Arthur right away. Nah, it’s about about Hobson.

Bechdel test: Linda and Susan talk a little in the stables but Arthur is also there and also they quickly start talking about Linda’s imaginary husband so I’m not sure that counts at all.

Best line:

Hobson: You spoiled little bastard! You’re a man who has everything, haven’t you, but that’s not enough. You feel unloved, Arthur, welcome to the world. Everyone is unloved. Now stop feeling sorry for yourself. And incidentally, I love you.

Hobson: – puts on a hat – if I start to die, please take this off my head. I do not wish to be remembered this way.

State of Mind: The only thing that could tempt me to see the remake is that Helen Mirren is the Hobson character. That sounds amazing, but I don’t think I could take Russell Brand laughing and making awful jokes the whole time. Also a comedy near-stabbing? not that funny. It’s possible I was in the wrong mood to watch this, being pretty tired out and having read a lot of crap about the state of the world on the internet today, but I fail to see where the appeal is in this movie. I don’t find it a moving love story, I don’t feel much sympathy for the lead character and generally… I was pleased when it was over.

Watched movie count


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