A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Ultimately the movie's message is that money can't buy you happiness or love, and you can't get true love without growing up and cleaning up your act. That said, Arthur does start out by agreeing to marry a woman he doesn't love (or even like) just so he can keep his inheritance and wildly spend it on frivolous things. And, of course, there's his frequent drinking -- which, while not exactly glamorized, doesn't have particularly harsh consequences, either.
Positive Role Models
Yes, Arthur is a drunk. But he has a big heart and tries to show the people he cares for how much he appreciates them. And Naomi is really pure in spirit, teaching Arthur how to be comfortable with himself without resorting to the drink. Arthur's mother, however, can't seem to stand him; there's a softening toward the end, but she's still frosty.
Violence & Scariness
Arthur is manhandled by a woman. He’s also threatened with a table saw.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Lots of innuendo-laden talk. Early in the movie, Arthur is caught in bed with a barely dressed woman. Couples kiss, and one woman shows up at a man’s doorstep clad only in lingerie and an overcoat. A woman is shown astride a man (no body parts are shown). A man parades around the city in his knickers; he also strips down to them in a church. Jokes about body parts.
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Mostly "bloody," "hell," "bugger," and "prick," though there are also a couple of uses of "s--t," plus "t-tties," "oh my God," and "goddamn."
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Products & Purchases
Brands include Maker's Mark (prominently), Sony, Jelly Belly, and Dylan's Candy Bar.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The main character is always soused (champagne, hard liquor, etc.); though he tries to attend an AA meeting at one point, he makes fun of it. He's also shown smoking a hookah.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that although this remake of the popular '80s comedy is occasionally funny and at times even oddly touching, it's also raunchy and not as memorable as the movie it was based on. Given that the main character, Arthur (Russell Brand), is an often-tipsy millionaire, expect plenty of scenes with him swigging from a bottle, glass, or flask. While there aren't many strongly negative consequences for his drinking, it's not portrayed in a particularly glamorous fashion, either, and he ultimately has to learn how to be comfortable with himself without the booze in order to attain his heart's desire. Expect plenty of sexual innuendo and some lingerie scenes, though no nudity. There's some swearing, too, including "s--t," "bugger," and "bloody." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Though no one will be talking about how this version of ARTHUR has supplanted the Dudley Moore classic, it's not as big of a train-wreck as it could have been. For starters, it retains the original's sweet center, albeit with a lot more schmaltz (not to mention strains of the cheesy but nostalgically appealing Christopher Cross theme song). And though Brand is no Moore, he has his own gentle-giant charm that makes his irresponsible alcoholic still somewhat appealing. What makes it work best, though, is Brand's easy chemistry with Mirren. It's astounding how plain the stunning Mirren can become, and she steps into those practical nanny shoes nicely. She's the mother he never quite had; he, her unruly child surrogate.
Still, this Arthur has no edge (profane innuendoes aren't substitutes for edge). It doesn't break any conventions; it doesn't make you think. It is pretty funny in parts, but it's an unclever kind of funny. And what of New York, which the original did showcase? It's not seductive here, but rather a pastiche of NYC greatest hits that renders the city soul-less, no longer caught near the moon. It's just another romcom now.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.