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Mr. Bean's Holiday

Mr. Bean's Holiday (also known as Bean 2, Bean on Holiday and French Bean) is a comedy film starring Rowan Atkinson as Mr. Bean which was released in the United Kingdom on 30 March 2007 and on 24 August 2007 in the United States and Canada. It is the second film based on the television series Mr. Bean, a sequel to 1997's Bean.

Release

News of the second movie first broke in early 2005, suggesting that it would be written by Simon McBurney, although in December 2005, Atkinson stated that the screenplay was being written by himself and long-time collaborator Richard Curtis. The screenplay was finally confirmed to have been written by Robin Driscoll, Simon McBurney and Hamish McColl. Atkinson also said that Mr. Bean's Holiday will most likely be the last Mr. Bean story he appears in. He was also quoted as saying "Never say never" but went on to add that it was highly unlikely he would appear as Mr. Bean again.

Unlike the 1997 Mel Smith film, Mr Bean's Holiday was directed by Steve Bendelack. The film began shooting on 15 May 2006.

It was the official film for Red Nose Day 2007, with money from the film going towards the charity Comic Relief. Prior to the film's release, a new and exclusive Mr. Bean sketch was broadcast on the Comic Relief telethon on BBC One on 16 March 2007. The movie's official premiere took place at Leicester Square's Odeon in London on Sunday, 25 March, and helped to raise money for both Comic Relief and the Oxford Children's Hospital Appeal charity.

Universal Pictures released a teaser trailer in November 2006. and in December 2006 launched an official website online.

Rating

The second full length trailer made it online late-January 2007. The film was rated G and was originally given a rating of PG for brief mild language by the MPAA. It was then given a rating of G after the film was re-edited. The predecessor of the film was rated PG-13 for moments of risque humor.

Plot

The film opens with (Rowan Atkinson) attending raffle his number is 616, the winning number is 919 - frustrated that he lost, he throws the ticket onto a toy train track he sees the ticket upside down reading 919, he grabs the ticket and yells out that he won in his mumbling deep voice. The prize is a holiday involving a train journey to Cannes, a Sony video camera, and €200. Following a misunderstanding involving a taxi at the Gare du Nord railway station in Paris, Bean is forced to make his way unorthodoxly towards the Gare de Lyon to board his next train towards Cannes. As he misses the train and the next one won't leave for another hour, he has time to sample French seafood at Le Train Bleu restaurant. He accidentally orders oysters, which he cannot bring himself to eat. He surreptitiously pours them into a nearby lady's handbag.

Back on the platform, Bean asks a man, who happens to be a Cannes Film Festival jury member and Russian movie critic Emil Dachevsky (Karel Roden), to use his camcorder to film his walking onto the train. By the time they are done, the TGV is about to leave. Although Bean manages to get onto the train, the doors close before Dachevsky can get on. Dachevsky's son, Stepan (Max Baldry) is therefore left on board by himself. Bean attempts to befriend Stepan, with the result that when the boy slaps him in the face and gets off at the next station, Bean gets off too and accidentally misses the train, along with his bag aboard. The train that Stepan's father has boarded does not stop at the station, and he holds up a mobile number, but with the last two digits obscured. Their efforts at calling the number prove fruitless. They board the next train, but since Bean has left his ticket on the station public telephone, the duo are soon forced to leave the train.

Attempts at busking by miming to Puccini's O mio babbino caro (sung by Rita Streich) prove successful, and Bean buys them a bus ticket to Cannes. Bean loses his ticket by getting the ticket stuck on a chicken's foot. Mr Bean then steals a nearby bicycle and follows the chicken which has been placed onto a Peugeot 504 pickup and ends up at a chicken pen. On his return, he finds that the bicycle has been run over by a German WWII Sturmgeschütz III assault gun. Mr. Bean starts walking, and falls asleep exhausted. He wakes up on what appears to be a quaint French village, but is actually a film set for a yoghurt advertisement, set during World War II (this is where the tank was heading). Bean ends up as an extra, playing the role of a German soldier in the advertisement, directed by Carson Clay (Willem Dafoe). He inadvertently blows up the set, and is seen walking down from a hillside with smoke billowing out of the villa while being passed by an ambulance heading up the hill.

Bean then tries to hitch-hike again; a lime-green Mini identical to his own picks him up, driven by actress Sabine (Emma de Caunes) that Bean encountered both at the commercial filming and previously, who offers him a lift to Cannes. She is an aspiring actress on her way to the 59th Cannes Film Festival where Carson Clay's film in which she makes her debut is going to be presented. When they stop at a service station, Bean finds Stepan in a café. Sabine agrees to take him with them.

Bean and the boy now attempt, again in vain, to call Dachevsky with Sabine's phone. When Sabine falls asleep, Bean then drives the car himself, but he keeps falling asleep. After doing dangerous and painful things to himself to stay awake, Bean and the other two finally make it to Cannes.

When Sabine goes into a petrol station to change for the premiere, she sees a newsflash, wherein the police have made up a story about Mr. Bean kidnapping Stepan and she, Sabine, being his accomplice. However, since she does not want to miss the premiere, she is reluctant to go to the police to clear up the "misunderstanding". They therefore plan to get into Cannes without being identified. Stepan dresses up as Sabine's daughter, while Mr. Bean dresses up as Sabine's mother. They manage to get through the search and Sabine arrives at the premiere on time.

After sneaking into the premiere, Bean is disappointed to see that Sabine's role has been (rather poorly) cut from the film (Carson Clay is seen nodding at the woman beside him at this point, implying that he cut the scene as a favour to his jealous wife), and ends up plugging in his video camera to the projector, where his video diary is unexpectedly played out. However, the strange tale it tells fits director Carson Clay's narration well (in a bizarre way), so that the director, Sabine, and Bean all receive standing ovations. Stepan is finally reunited with his father (after he accuses Bean of kidnapping his son and attempts to fight him).

After the screening, Bean leaves the building and goes to the beach, encountering there many of the other characters. The film then ends with Bean and all the other characters of the film miming a large French musical finale, singing the famous song by Charles Trenet, "La Mer" (Beyond the Sea). After the credits Bean writes with his foot Fin ("End") in the sand, using the last of his camera battery.

Cast and roles

Portrayed by Character
Rowan Atkinson Mr. Bean
Steve Pemberton Vicar
Lily Atkinson Lily at the stereo
Preston Nyman Boy with train
Sharlit Deyzac Buffet attendant
Francois Touch Busker accordion
Emma de Caunes Sabine
Arsène Mosca Trafic controller
Stéphane Debac Traffic controller
Willem Dafoe Carson Clay
Philippe Spall French journalist
Jean Rochefort waiter in Le Train Bleu restaurant
Karel Roden Emil
Max Baldry Stepan
Pascal Jounier Tipsy man
Antoine de Caunes TV presenter
Clint Dyer Luther
Catherine Hosmalin SNCF Ticket Inspector
Gilles Gaston-Dreyfus SNCF
Urbain Cancelier Bus Driver
Eric Naggar Suicidal Man

Reception

As of 24 August 2007, the film had a score of 56 out of 100 on Metacritic based on 26 reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, 50% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 104 reviews (52 "fresh", 52 "rotten").

The film was met with mixed reviews by critics. Matthew Turner of ViewLondon gave the film 3 out of 5 stars and said "Crucially, the film-makers have decided to make Bean more of a bumbling innocent, than the obnoxious and frequently mean-spirited character of the TV show", and that the film is a "surprisingly sweet comedy" with inspired gags and is much better than the previous film. BBC film critic Paul Arendt gave the film 3 out of 5 stars, saying "It's hard to explain the appeal of Mr Bean. At first glance, he seems to be moulded from the primordial clay of nightmares: a leering man-child with a body like a tangle of tweed-coated pipe cleaners and the gurning, window-licking countenance of a suburban sex offender. It's a testament to Rowan Atkinson's skill that, by the end of the film he seems almost cuddly. Philip French of The Observer referred to the character of Mr. Bean as a "dim-witted sub-Hulot loner" and said the plot involves Atkinson "getting in touch with his retarded inner child." French also said "the best joke is taken directly from Tati's Jour de Fete. Wendy Ide of The Times gave the film 2 out of 5 stars and said "It has long been a mystery to the British, who consider Bean to be, at best, an ignoble secret weakness, that Rowan Atkinson’s repellent creation is absolutely massive on the Continent." Ide said parts of the film are reminiscent of City of God, The Straight Story, and said two scenes are "clumsily borrowed" from Pee-wee's Big Adventure. Ide also wrote that the jokes are weak and one gag "was past its sell-by date ten years ago. Steve Rose of The Guardian gave the film 2 out of 5 stars, said the film was full of awfully weak gags, and "In a post-Borat world, surely there's no place for Bean's antiquated fusion of Jacques Tati, Pee-Wee Herman and John Major?".

Peter Rainer of The Christian Science Monitor gave the film a "B" and said "Since Mr. Bean rarely speaks a complete sentence, the effect is of watching a silent movie with sound effects. This was also the dramatic ploy of the great French director-performer Jacques Tati, who is clearly the big influence here. Amy Biancolli of the Houston Chronicle gave the film 3 out of 4 stars, saying "Don't mistake this simpleton hero, or the movie's own simplicity, for a lack of smarts. Mr. Bean's Holiday is quite savvy about filmmaking, landing a few blows for satire." Biancolli said the humour is "all elementally British and more than a touch French. What it isn't, wasn't, should never attempt to be, is American. That's the mistake made by Mel Smith and the ill-advised forces behind 1997's Bean: The Movie. Ty Burr of the Boston Globe said "Either you'll find [Atkinson] hilarious—or he'll seem like one of those awful, tedious comedians who only thinks he's hilarious." Burr also said "There are also a few gags stolen outright from Tati", but concluded "Somewhere, Jacques Tati is smiling. Tom Long of The Detroit News said "Watching 90 minutes of this stuff—we're talking broad, broad comedy here—may seem a bit much, but this film actually picks up steam as it rolls along, becoming ever more absurd." and also "Mr. Bean offers a refreshingly blunt reminder of the simple roots of comedy in these grim, overly manufactured times.

Suzanne Condie Lambert of The Arizona Republic said "Atkinson is a gifted physical comedian. And the film is a rarity: a kid-friendly movie that was clearly not produced as a vehicle for selling toys and video games." but also said "It's hard to laugh at a character I'm 95 percent sure is autistic. Lawrence Toppman of The Charlotte Observer gave the film 2½ stars out of 4 and said "If you like [the character], you will certainly like Mr. Bean's Holiday, a 10-years-later sequel to Bean. I found him intermittently funny yet almost unrelentingly creepy", and also "Atkinson doesn't have the deadpan elegance of a Buster Keaton or the wry, gentle physicality of a Jacques Tati (whose Mr. Hulot's Holiday inspired the title). He's funniest when mugging shamelessly...

Ruthe Stein of the San Francisco Chronicle said "the disasters instigated by Bean's haplessness quickly become tiresome and predictable" but said that one scene later in the film is worth sticking around for. Elizabeth Weitzman of the New York Daily News gave the film 2 out of 4 stars and said "If you've never been particularly fond of Atkinson's brand of slapstick, you certainly won't be converted by this trifle." and also "If the title sounds familiar, it's because Atkinson intends his movie to be an homage to the 1953 French classic Mr. Hulot's Holiday. Mr. Hulot was played by one of the all-time great physical comedians, Jacques Tati, and that movie is a genuine delight from start to finish. This version offers a few laughs and an admirable commitment to old-fashioned fun. Phil Villarreal of the Arizona Daily Star gave the film 2 stars and said "If you've seen 10 minutes of Rowan Atkinson's Mr. Bean routine, you've seen it all", and "The Nazi stuff is a bit out of place in a G-rated movie. Or any movie, really", later calling Atkinson "a has-Bean. Claudia Pig of USA Today gave the film 1½ stars out of 4 and said "If you've been lobotomised or have the mental age of a kindergartener, Mr. Bean's Holiday is viable comic entertainment" and also, "The film, set mostly in France, pays homage to Jacques Tati, but the mostly silent gags feel like watered-down Bean.

The audience received Mr. Bean's Holiday with mixed responses. Some of the file critics pointed out that Mr. Bean has lived past his era, and felt that his antics are very predictable in the film. This, perhaps, is due to the fact that the film takes a less Americanised tone than the original movie.

Box office performance

The film has been very successful at the box office. It took an opening gross of US$12.7 million in the United Kingdom, the biggest opening for a film in 2007 up until the release of Spider-Man 3. Mr. Bean's Holiday grossed a total of $229.7 million worldwide.

Rating

In the UK, it was classified by the British Board of Film Classification as PG for containing "irresponsible behaviour."

This film was originally given a PG rating by the Motion Picture Association of America for brief mild language, but Universal cut out most of the language (leaving Stepan saying "damn" in Russian in one shot and in French in a later shot) so the film would be rated G by the MPAA. It was one of the few Universal theatrically released films to be rated G. The first film, by contrast, was rated PG-13. It is much cleaner in content than the original film.

DVD and HD DVD Release

Mr. Bean's Holiday was released on DVD and HD DVD on November 27, 2007. The DVD version is in separate widescreen and pan and scan formats while the HD DVD version is in widescreen.

The DVD Charted at #1 on the UK DVD Chart on week of release.

References

External links

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