Mr. Bean's Holiday (2007)
"Mr. Bean wins a trip to Cannes where he unwittingly separates a young boy from his father and must help the two come back together. On the way he discovers France, bicycling, and true love, among other things."
I am pretty sure that everyone knows who Mr. Bean is, but if you aren't familiar with him then it would be lost on you if I compared him to Mr. Magoo, as that's even older than Bean. As I was in a rather lighthearted mood and I did promise I would do something not scary for a change, I dug this one out of the seas of videos and thought we could all use a good movie to watch, and silly comedies is one of the fine line of movies that everyone can enjoy without anyone being left out of all the jokes (whereas some movies like Shrek contain jokes for the parents in a way that goes over the young ones heads). Without further ado, holiday to stage center.
Mr. Bean is just your average guy going about life, and has been the focus of a few different movies. For Holiday , we find our titular character Mr. Bean (Rowan Atkinson) attending a raffle drawing, hoping to win himself a free vacation. The number is called, and you instantly get a feel for how the rest for the rest of the movie when Mr. Bean looks down and thinks he has the wrong number (he is actually just holding it upside down). He throws it away, sees it ride by on a toy train (now the rightside up), and wins himself a vacation and a camera to take with him. The rest of the plot involves Bean's misadventures as he goes on this vacation, trying to reach the beach and enjoy his vacation.
The meat of this movie is within the subplots that occur as he goes through the series of misadventures. The first major one causes a father to miss the train his son is on, which in turn has Mr. Bean sticking around the kid to make sure he doesn't get abducted or anything (as we can assume Bean feels a little bit guilty about the situation) , which in turn enables more "accidents" to happen while also expanding the plot to not just being a vacation, but also a quest of trying to get this little boy back to his father. After a while the two get separated by another one of Bean's accidents and Bean runs into another character named Sabine (Emma de Caunes), who in turn ends up (through happenstance) causing the boy and Bean to meet again, and all three go about the quest to return the kid (with all three not understanding each other at all). It all ends happy by the way, as this is a family comedy, in yet another spectacular array of wacky events.
The wacky event's are what makes the movie a comedy, granted one shouldn't under-credit the acting of Rowan Atkinson as Mr. Bean either. The two feed off of each other and blend together to make a (although not entirely believable) wacky combination that allows you to find yourself understanding that Bean would end up in these situations he keeps getting himself into. A good example of this is the distractions and hold-ups used throughout the film, starting with Bean getting in the wrong taxi as someone takes his and a new one pulls up while he turns to go get his things, and carried on through the father missing the train and later again when Bean slowly loses all of his belongings through similar events.
Facial expressions, and the characters general silent-era exaggerations all help add to the on screen comedy, and the fact that most the characters all speak a foreign language (subtitled in english for my viewing pleasure) while Bean mumbles away in barely understandable tones (except for the few times he states some things like gracious, the name of the beach hes going to, or his name) only help add the the overall goofy nature of the film.
The supporting cast (to which in this instance I refer to anyone who doesn't answer by the name Rowan Atkinson) also do a wonderful job, generally treating Bean as much of as would (curios looks, amusement, suspicion) and do a wonderful job of not laughing at how well of a job Atkinson does playing Bean, giving them all a hefty grounding to reality (which in turn makes Mr. Bean even more outrageous). Costumes are quite diverse here when needed - although until he later meets Sabine, most of the costumes are what you would expect of modern-ish times. It again helps make things more grounded in reality, and adds to the feeling that somewhere in the world things could in fact be playing out exactly like this for someone just like Mr. Bean.
Locations are beautiful throughout this movie. Having not travelled to such exotic locations like Paris or Cannes, seeing them on film (even in montage-style travel shots) really makes you want to take a vacation yourself, and even the more barren outer areas of the film still have a feeling of character to themselves without ever overshadowing the events taking place on the screen.
Musically, it's a lot of quirky flavor enhancing tunes. If there is supposed to be a set mood, the music will help establish it, support it, and emphasize it. It something that at times can be forgotten, and at others will leave you grooving to it later (like Kool and the Gang's "Celebration"). The cast does a great job delivering their lines (what characters have lines to deliver that is), although admittedly since I don't speak French the most I can do is base it off the energy and feel put behind the words that I wouldn't understand if not for the wonderful little subtitles, and you may even find yourself enjoying some of Beans mumbles by the end of the film.
All in all, it's a pretty light hearted film that's good for the family. I can't guarantee that the comedy stylings of misadventures will have the same effect for everyone (although I had plenty of chuckles, I wasn't exactly rolling around on the floor dying from the laughs) but the enjoyability of the movie itself should still hold its own. Granted, if you want to add another layer to the movie, you can always go into it with the knowledge that the adorable Mr. Bean's actor Atkinson actually holds a degree from Oxford and be completely blown away at how convincing he actually is at this roll - but then you'd probably miss out on all the humor while you mind was catching up!