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E.C. Henry

Billy, that's pretty sad that a third of your students had no idea that "Arthur" (2011) is a remake. Why sad? Because as a student who's taking a screenwriting class one would think those students would be passionate about movies and have some baramoter of what's out there. NOT that I think "Arthur" (1981) is a classic. I think it was so-so, much like I think about "Groundhog Day". Oops I think I just said too much -- you may have just put out a contract out on my life!

Did see Arthur (2011) and did see the original. Your post really rings home the fact the original did a MUCH BETTER job with Hobson. Did like how "Arthur 2011 re-invisioned many of it's original characters -- outside of Hobson. Really like the mean romantic twarts: Nick Nolte and Jennifer Gardner. Also liked Arthur's new romantic interest; the character played by Greta Gerwig (who was EXCELLENT in Ben Stiller's "Greenberg").

1981 and 2011, side-by-side, I think 2011 is the funnier movie, but the 1981 version has more emotional resonance. 2011 has a much different feel than the 1981 version; I didn't feel it was a rip-off. Especially liked the line the little kid had near the end of the moive where Russel Brand is asked if he's a boy or a girl.

Love reading you break it down, Billy. Good luck bringing the fresh crop up to speed with what's out there in movieland. Hope it doesn't drive you to drink, BUT if it does there may be a movie in that ;)

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

annaliterally

You really know how to nail it, Billy. Now I need to go look at my subplot on my rom-com.

;-)

E

Russell Brand should have read the script for this Arthur... when I saw the introduction of the nail gun and motion sensor buzz saw as comedy bits, I knew we were in trouble.... I sat with an audience eager to laugh at anything as they had laughed hard as some ok trailers...but you could hear a pin drop for the first 30 minutes of this one.

That being said, I thought the original was rather mediocre too. I never bought into the hype of the "great dudley Moore" and Liza Minelli is not appealing as a lead. Good message, but did not find Arthur (either one) a particularly good movie.

The fatal flaw in the film is that it's hard to sympathesize with an alocholic billionaire especially when we can smell the ending before the movie starts... boo hoo...my mom's making me do something for money.

Churnage

Call me atypical and heretical... but I liked Russell Brand's "Arthur" a lot. In fact, better than the original.

Of course, it's been a long time since I've seen the original, but I found Dudley Moore more annoying than cuddly.

mernitman

Thanks for the support, EC - I should be out of detox in no time.

Anna Literally: I'm glad the post was literally helpful.

E: You've identified the acknowledged obstacles to many people's enjoyment of the original, including the casting - although being a longtime fan of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore's comedy, it was an easier buy for me.

Churnage: You're atypical and heretical! Though that's a badge of honor, in my book.

binnie

"After I had the stiff drink I needed when I discovered that a third of my romantic comedy screenwriting students had no idea that 2011's Arthur is a remake..."

Sorry, I just did a spit take and haven't read the rest of your blog post yet.

E

I'm not that surprised....it's not a fave among the new generation...whereas other older movies are watched over and over again. For instance, Bogart seems to be almost more beloved than he ever was.

Btw Billy, are yoou going to do your own comedy week? :)

mernitman

Binnie: Riiiiiight?!

E: It's so interesting to see which cultural icons truly stand the test of time, and thems who don't... If by "comedy week," you mean reviews of 5 comedies, 5 days in a row (as Scriptshadow just did), sorry to say, Nuh-uh, unless you can figure out a way to put an extra 2 hours in my 24-hour day! I will endeavor to keep posting About Comedy in general, however, whenever I can.

E

Here, I'll spot you a few hours out of my pocket....how many do you need? :)

It certainly would be interesting to see what sets blacklist comedies from those that don't get bought... or the dreaded second half of the movie. Part 2 of act and Act 3 that I see most amateur scripts and even professional ones just fall apart... lack of conflict? inablility to escalate...?

Yeah, noticed that Jimmy Stewart and Humphrey Bogart are completely revered by the new generations....they're pretty big on college campuses... and then you have some of the big box office giants of their day that no one talks about anymore.

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