A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Bean is a feature-length movie -- based on the popular comedy TV series -- starring Rowan Atkinson with slapstick, gross-out humor, and some mild sexual references. Grossness includes an exploding vomit bag on the plane, a very wet sneeze onto a painting, an overdose of laxatives, and a candy dropped into an open incision, washed off, and eaten. Bean (Atkinson) and his American host, David Langley (Peter MacNicol) respond to disaster at work by going out to get drunk. Langley's daughter is in a motorcycle accident and it is not clear whether she will be all right. She is shown unconscious in hospital with facial cuts and oxygen tubes. Guns also feature in the movie, with armed police officers chasing a frightened Bean through an airport and a police officer drawing a gun on an armed carjacker. A police officer is shot and ends up in hospital with a bullet wound. Younger kids may miss the suggestiveness of Bean's pelvic gyrations when he is trying to dry his pants in the men's room. But a young boy says that he can't sleep because he keeps thinking about naked women and asks what an intrauterine device is. There is a modern version of "Whistler's Sister," featuring a nude photograph. Bean gives people "the finger," thinking it is a friendly gesture. A female character says "all the greatest chefs in the world are men."
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In BEAN, after frustrating his supervisors with his incompetence as a guard at an art museum, Bean (Rowan Atkinson) is sent as an "expert" to an art gallery in the U.S. There he is tasked with speaking at the unveiling of the "Whistler's Mother" painting. But as with anything Bean becomes involved with, disaster is never far away.
Is it any good?
The character Bean -- or Mr. Bean -- is something of a throwback to the classic silent film comedians. A childlike man who is unabashedly consumed with enjoying himself, and incapable of considering the consequences for others, he developed a cult-like status with his U.K. TV series during the 1990s. In an effort to make the character more appealing to a U.S. audience, here the producers send Bean to Los Angeles for his cinematic debut. The result is uncomfortably uneven.
The plot is an excuse for what is really a series of slapstick sketches involving very little dialogue but many funny faces and physical contortions, and a lot of potty humor and general grossness. This movie will be most successful with kids who are already familiar with the character and appreciate that kind of comedy. However, other kids may be very uncomfortable with the gross and embarrassing situations.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the comedy used in Bean. How would you characterize the humor? How does it compare to comedy you've seen in other shows and movies? Did you find this kind of humor funny? Why or why not?
Discuss the slapstick violence in the movie. How do you know when something "violent" is meant to be funny and not scary or real?
Bean gets into a lot of scrapes in the movie. How does he feel when he realizes what he's done?
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