I've been a fan of Mr. Bean since I was a kid. The shows used to play on a lot HBO, I fell in love with his classic, silent slapstick humor. So much so that I even bought the DVD set that came out a few years back. I remember seeing the first movie in the theater and coming out fairly disappointed, thinking that maybe his humor was best in short bursts. We saw the trailer for Mr. Bean's Holiday in front of Ratatouille and I thought it looked better than the first film, the kicker was when my three-year-old was laughing hysterically at it. After that I introduced him to the show, which he endured for my sake, but didn't have much interest.
In the few months since then, he's become more interested in live-action; used to be he wouldn't sit still for anything but a cartoon. So our family sat down to watch it for movie night. I think I enjoyed it more than I usually would, because I was watching it from a three-year-old's perspective. Mr. Bean's antics work well for that mind set; a lot of falling down, knocking stuff over, and accidentally getting in trouble. My kid kept saying, "Mr. Jellybean is funny!"
The story is extremely simple, but it doesn't need to be something deep. Mr. Bean wins a trip to Cannes, France and he couldn't be more excited for a beach vacation. Being Mr. Bean, the trip is one accident after another. First he causes a father to miss the train, and in the first bit of consciousness for the character, he feels bad about splitting up the dad from his son who's still on the train; so he takes the lad under his wing. From there he loses his wallet, his passport, misses the train, etc., etc. It's not about the situations, it's the way that Mr. Bean reacts to them that makes it so funny. Rowan Atkinson is a comic genius in the way he moves his body and face. He would have been a huge star in the silent-film days, up there with Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton.
Willem Dafoe makes a funny appearance as an egomaniac film director, the two continue to run into each other, at the climax of the film Mr. Bean crashes the premiere screening of his film at the Cannes Film Fest. When Bean finally makes it to the beach, it's actually a very sweet scene.
Mr Bean's Holiday Trailer - Watch the best video clips here
The film isn't going to win any awards, and the humor is pretty low-brow, but you could do much worse for family comedy. Now it's time to start re-introducing the Mr. Bean DVD set to my son.