Arthur Newman (Arthur and Mike) Movie Reviews
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I really wanted to like this movie than I actually did, which is a pity since it could have been so much more. Colin Firth is a superb actor and pairing him with Emily Blunt would seem to be a no-brainer for a home run. Alas, the movie only goes so far in exploring its premise. It's about two people who loathe the lives they lead and thus reinvent themselves to try and become happier. Inevitably, they fall for each other. But then the movie stops to go deeper into their psyches, which is what you want the movie to do. Instead it goes into all these weird subplots that have nothing interesting to say about the characters. I think I would honestly rate this a three star movie (or a "C") but since it stars my fave Emily Blunt I give it an extra star. Colin Firth seems kind of bored in the movie - he should be getting better scripts after his Oscar winning portrayal in "The King's Speech". Maybe next time.
“Curioser and curioser!” remarked Alice as she encountered the bizarre goings-on of the Wonderland she stumbles into after following a white rabbit down a hole. The same sense of foreboding wonder may have been plaguing the director Dante Ariola who, in his debut feature Arthur Norman, seems to be so fascinated by the concept of his story that he actually sort of forgot, well, the story. What we’re left with is a dual character study that stands (or rather wobbles) on the strength of the acting prowess of Colin Firth and Emily Blunt. Alas, it could have been so much more.
The film tells the sordid tale of a man named Wallace Avery (Firth) who seems resigned to live a life of mediocrity. There’s just nothing going on in his life that has survived the cloud of disaster that is his existence. So what does he do? Fake his death and reinvent himself as (what else?) a golf pro in Indiana. There he meets Mike (Emily Blunt) who is charming ad seductive . . . and clearly insane. She too pretends to be something she’s not, so it’s no wonder that the two of them are immediately drawn to each other. In so many ways the two of them deserve each other and nothing (and nobody) more.
The film sort of peters out a quarter of the way through because the script decides that it’s more important for us to watch them self-destruct than to show us how their self-deception wreaks havoc on the innocent. It’s an interesting concept, but one that never bothers to explain itself to anyone outside the movie. A bitter disappointment.
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