|Mr. Bean's Holiday|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Steve Bendelack|
|Story by||Simon McBurney|
by Richard Curtis and Rowan Atkinson
|Music by||Howard Goodall|
|Edited by||Tony Cranstoun|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Box office||$229.7 million|
Mr. Bean's Holiday is a 2007 British-French-American comedy film, directed by Steve Bendelack, music composed by Howard Goodall, produced by Peter Bennett-Jones, Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, written by Hamish McColl and Robin Driscoll and starring Rowan Atkinson, Max Baldry, Emma de Caunes and Willem Dafoe. It is the second film based on the television series Mr. Bean, following the 1997 Bean.
The film was theatrically released on 24 August 2007 by Universal Pictures. The film grossed $229.7 million on a $25 million budget. Mr. Bean's Holiday was released on DVD and HD DVD on 27 November 2007. The film was released in the United Kingdom on 30 March 2007, and topped the country's box office for the next two weekends, before being dethroned by Wild Hogs.
Ten years has passed since the first film, Mr. Bean (Rowan Atkinson) drives to a church fête where he wins the first prize in a raffle - a holiday involving a train journey to Cannes, a Handycam video camera, and EUR200 spending money.
Following a misunderstanding involving a taxi at Paris railway station Gare du Nord, Bean is forced to make his way unorthodoxly towards the Gare de Lyon from La Defense to board his next train towards Cannes. However, a vending machine prevents him from boarding, and he misses his train. Whilst waiting for the next, he samples French seafood cuisine at the restaurant Le Train Bleu, mistakenly eating a langoustine whole and pouring the oysters he took a dislike to into a woman's handbag.
Back on the platform, Bean asks a man, Emil Duchevsky (Karel Roden), a Russian movie director, to use his camcorder to film him boarding the train, but spends so much time retaking the shot that the train starts to leave. Although Bean manages to get onto the train, the doors close before Emil can get on. Emil's son, Stepan (Max Baldry) is therefore left on board without his father.
Bean attempts without success to befriend the boy. At the next station, the train leaves without him when he disembarks to get his camcorder back from Stepan who had somehow got hold of his camcorder and disembarked earlier. The train Emil has boarded does not stop at the station, and he instead holds up a sign showing a mobile number, but the last two digits are covered by his fingers. Attempts at calling the number prove fruitless. Bean and Stepan board the next train but get kicked off as Bean had left his wallet and ticket on the telephone box at the previous station.
Attempts at busking, including lip syncing to Puccini's "O mio babbino caro", prove successful, and Bean buys the pair food and bus tickets to Cannes. Bean manages to lose his ticket that attaches itself to a chicken's leg, and after a failed attempt to instead hitchhike his way there on an elderly man's VéloSoleX, he is forced to continue the journey on foot. Bean soon falls asleep, exhausted from walking and wakes up on what appears to be a quaint French village attacked by Wehrmacht backed by a StuG III, but is actually a film set for a yogurt commercial. Bean ends up as an extra in the commercial, directed by Carson Clay (Willem Dafoe). When Bean's camera battery dies, he recharges it, but accidentally ends up destroying the set in an explosion.
Bean then tries to hitchhike again and is picked up by a yellow Mini identical to his, driven by actress Sabine (Emma de Caunes), who offers him a lift to Cannes. She is an aspiring actress on her way to the 59th Cannes Film Festival, where the film in which she makes her debut as an extra will be presented. When they stop at a service station, Bean finds Stepan dancing in a cafe with a band. Sabine agrees to take him with them, assuming that Stepan is Bean's son, while Stepan thinks Sabine is Bean's fiancée. Bean uses Sabine's mobile phone to try to call Emil again (with no luck) and, when Sabine falls asleep at the wheel, Mr Bean ends up driving through the night.
The next morning, they reach Cannes. When Sabine goes into a petrol station to change for the premiere, she sees Bean's photo on the television; he is suspected of kidnapping Stepan while Sabine is Bean's accomplice. However, since the premiere in Cannes is scheduled to start in one hour, she decides not to go to the police to clear the misunderstandings. Therefore, to get into the premiere, Stepan and Bean disguise themselves as Sabine's daughter and mother, respectively, and manage to evade the police.
After sneaking into the premiere, Sabine and Bean are disappointed to see that her scene has been cut from the film. Bean plugs his video camera into the projector, projecting his video diary. The bizarre tale it tells fits director Carson Clay's narration well, and the director, Sabine, and Bean receive standing ovations as Stepan is finally reunited with his father.
After the screening, Bean leaves the building by the back door, finally making his way onto Cannes beach. A montage follows of Bean playing by the water's edge, while Sabine is interviewed, Carson Clay attempts to mimic Bean's unorthodox filming methods, and Stepan relaxes with his family. The film ends with the entire cast and background crowd miming a musical finale "La Mer", as heard from a small girl named Lily (Lily Atkinson)'s MP3 player during the raffle at which Bean won the trip. After the credits, Bean writes "FIN" in the sand with his foot. He films it until the sea washes the words away, and the camera's battery dies again.
The film music was written by Howard Goodall. It has a symphonic orchestration, a sophisticated score instead of the show's tendency to simple musical repetitions and features catchy leitmotifs for particular characters or scenes. The film's theme song was "Crash" by Matt Willis.
In March 2005, news of the second film first broke out, suggesting that it would be written by Simon McBurney, but in December 2005, Atkinson stated that the screenplay was being written by himself, and his long time collaborator Richard Curtis. The screenplay was finally confirmed to have been written by Robin Driscoll, Simon McBurney, and Hamish McColl.
In February 2001, before filming began on Scooby-Doo, Atkinson was lured into making a second movie starring Mr. Bean, with the promise of an Australian adventure. The working title was Down Under Bean. However, this idea was dropped for Mr. Bean's Holiday. The film began shooting on 15 May 2006. Its working title was French Bean. It was the official film for Red Nose Day 2007, with money from the film going towards the charity Comic Relief.
In February 2007, Atkinson also said that Mr. Bean's Holiday would most likely be the last Mr. Bean story he appears in. He was quoted as saying "Never say never", but went on to add that it was highly unlikely he would appear as Mr. Bean again. Prior to the film's release, a new and exclusive Mr. Bean sketch, Mr. Bean's Wedding, was broadcast on the telethon for Comic Relief on BBC One on 16 March 2007.
The movie's official premiere took place at the Odeon Leicester Square, 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 launched an official website online the following month.
Mr. Bean's Holiday was released on DVD and HD DVD on 27 November 2007. The DVD version is in separate widescreen and pan and scan for the markets formats in the United States. The DVD charted at No. 1 on the DVD chart in the United Kingdom on its week of release.
There are fifteen deleted scenes in the film. In a television commercial from 2007, there was a scene where Bean spills coffee on a laptop. Bean is seen by Stepan for the very first time in the other scene. In another scene, Bean tricks a man to get a train ticket, and stay with Stepan on the train.
In another, Bean carries Stepan all the way through a plaza. In other scenes, Sabine goes off with her emotions and is almost run over by a truck, Bean does silly moves along the road (which are later seen in Carson Clay's Playback Time), plays with the shadows of the morning, mimes his journey to Stepan at the cafeteria, is menaced by a projectionist at the Cannes Film Festival (at the playing of Clay's movie), accidentally cuts the film roll and tries to stick it again, and Carson Clay discovers the film roll accumulating at the projector's room. The damaged film is still seen lying next to the projector in the final cut though it is not explained. Finally, Bean is seen dancing at the beach, a scene that was replaced by the characters singing "La Mer".
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 51% based on 110 reviews with an average rating of 5.5/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Mr. Bean's Holiday means well, but good intentions can't withstand the 90 minutes of monotonous slapstick and tired, obvious gags." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 56 out of 100 based on 26 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale.
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?", while Colm Andrew of the Manx Independent said "the flimsiness of the character, who is essentially a one-trick pony, starts to show" and his "continual close-up gurning into the camera" becomes tiresome.
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 that "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 Puig 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."
|29th Young Artist Awards (2008)||Best Performance in a Feature Film - Supporting Young Actor||Max Baldry||Nominated|
|First National Movie Awards (2007)||Comedy or Musical and Best Comedy||Nominated|