|Mr. Bean's Holiday|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Steve Bendelack|
|Story by||Simon McBurney|
|Based on||Mr. Bean|
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 family comedy film directed by Steve Bendelack and written by Hamish McColl and Robin Driscoll. It is a British-French-American venture produced by StudioCanal, Working Title Films and Tiger Aspect Films, and distributed by Universal Pictures. Based on the British television series Mr. Bean and a stand-alone sequel to Bean (1997), the film stars Rowan Atkinson in the title role, Max Baldry, Emma de Caunes and Willem Dafoe.
The film was theatrically released on 24 August 2007 in the United States to mixed reviews from critics but was a box office success, having grossed $229.7 million against a $25 million budget. 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.
Following a misunderstanding involving a taxi at the Gare du Nord, Bean is forced to make his way unorthodoxly to the Gare de Lyon in order to board his train to Cannes. Unfortunately, a vending machine prevents him from boarding and he misses his train. While waiting for the next one, he dines at Le Train Bleu where he causes chaos while sampling French seafood cuisine. Back on the platform, Bean asks a Russian filmmaker named Emil Dachevsky to film him boarding the train using his camcorder, but they spend so much time retaking the shot that the train starts to leave. Although Bean manages to get on the train, the doors close before Emil could get on. Therefore, his son Stepan is left on board alone and upon meeting Bean he initially refuses to befriend him.
At the next station, the train leaves without Bean when he goes to retrieve his camera from Stepan who has somehow got hold of it earlier. The train Emil has boarded does not stop and he instead holds up a sign showing a mobile number, but since the last two digits are covered by his fingers, attempts at calling the number prove worthless.
Attempts at getting money, such as lip-syncing to Giacomo Puccini's "O mio babbino caro", prove successful and Bean buys himself and Stepan food and bus tickets to Cannes. However, Bean loses his ticket that attaches itself to the foot of a chicken resulting in Bean chasing the chicken via a bicycle. Upon arriving at the farm where he finds more chickens and discovering that his bicycle was crushed by a tank, Bean is forced to continue his journey on foot. The next morning, he wakes up on what appears to be a quaint French village attacked by German soldiers, but is actually a film set for a yoghurt commercial directed by French director Carson Clay. While being an extra in the commercial (but being fired after Carson discovers his camcorder during filming), Bean attempts to recharge his video camera but inadvertently blows up the set.
Bean is then offered a lift to Cannes by a Mini identical to his driven by Sabine, 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 the two stop at a service station, Bean reunites with Stepan whom Sabine takes with assuming he is Bean's son while Stepan thinks Sabine is Bean's girlfriend.
The next morning, the trio teach Cannes. When Sabine stops at a petrol station to change for the premiere, she sees Bean's photo on a news program where he is suspected of kidnapping Stepan while she is Bean's accomplice. Since the premiere in Cannes is scheduled to start in one hour, she decides not to go to the police now to clear the misunderstandings. Therefore to sneak into the premiere, Bean and Stepan disguise themselves as Sabine's mother and daughter respectively and manage to sneak past the guards.
During the premiere, Sabine is distraught to find that her role has been cut from the film. To cheer her up, Bean plugs his video camera into the projector, causing it to project his video diary. The bizarre tale it tells fits director Carson Clay's narration well and he, Bean and Sabine all receive standing ovations as Stepan is reunited with his father. After the screening, Bean leaves the theatre via the back door where he finally makes his way onto the Cannes beach. The film ends with the entire cast and background crew miming a musical finale with the song "La Mer".
In a post-credits scene, Bean writes "FIN" in the sand with his foot and films it until the sea washes the word away and his camera's battery dies again.
In February 2001 before filming began on Scooby-Doo, Rowan Atkinson was lured into making a second film about Mr. Bean going on an Australian adventure under the title Down Under Bean. However, this idea was dropped for Mr. Bean's Holiday. Principal photography began on 15 May 2006 under the working title French Bean.
In March 2005, news of the film were released 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 later confirmed to have been written by Robin Driscoll and Hamish McColl while the story was instead written by McBurney.
The film's score was composed and conducted by Howard Goodall, who also composed the original Mr. Bean series although the original theme was unused. It has a symphonic orchestration which is a sophisticated score instead of the series' tendency to simple musical repetitions and features catchy leitmotifs for particular characters or scenes. The film's theme song was "Crash" by Matt Willis.
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 titled Mr. Bean's Wedding was broadcast on the telethon for Comic Relief on BBC One on 16 March 2007.
The official premiere of the film took place at the Odeon Leicester Square on Sunday, 25 March and helped to raise money for both Comic Relief and the Oxford Children's Hospital. Universal Pictures released a teaser trailer for the film 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 release 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. The first scene shows Bean accidentally spilling coffee on a laptop in front of two sleeping men in which upon cleaning it by licking the screen and wiping the keyboard with napkins, he leaves just upon one of the men wakes up and blames the other man for destroying his laptop. This scene was only featured on trailers and TV spots for the film although the North American release has it in place of the vending machine scene. The second scene shows Bean tricking a man to get a train ticket and staying with Stepan on the train.
The fourth one shows Bean carrying Stepan all the way through a plaza. The fifth one shows Sabine going off with her emotions and almost being run over by a truck, Bean doing silly moves along the road (which are later seen in Carson Clay's Playback Time), playing with the shadows in the morning, miming his journey to Stepan at the cafeteria, being menaced by a projectionist at the Cannes Film Festival (at the playing of Clay's movie), accidentally cutting the film roll and trying to stick it again and Carson Clay discovering 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 remains unexplained. 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 52% based on 113 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 that "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, saying that 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 wrote, "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 wrote, "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 that "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|