Arthur and Mike (aka Arthur Newman) review by George Hooper - Cinema Paradiso
When I saw the trailer for Arthur Newman it felt like a pretty conventional romantic comedy, a film that wouldn’t really have any lasting impact or cultural relevance to be spoken of. That is why I wasn’t surprised by what I was subjected to, a film that tries desperately to seem risque and unobvious but just screams of desperation as top notch actors try hard to not embarrass themselves.
Arthur Newman follows a man trying to avoid his past life by changing his name to Arthur Newman (Colin Firth) and leaving everything behind. When he meets up with Mike (Emily Blunt), a woman also seeking to avoid the life she had before and her past deeds they strike up an unconventional friendship as they go on a unique adventure.
Although Arthur is an interesting man, his reasons behind running away from his life is borderline childish as he proceeds to live a life of excess and liveliness that he never could have had before his re imagination of himself. His desire to make something new makes sense as the man he was before was pitiful and the film really feels like the reawakening of a soul lost long ago to the ravages of insecurity and extreme shyness.
Mike however is a cut out of other better rebellious female characters as she runs from a backstory that while unexpected is equally manipulative. The film while treating viewers to a genuinely moving relationship between the two plods along at a feeble pace as the two begin becoming new people and enjoying new and unexpected lives. The problem is that this grows old quickly for viewers and it takes the characters that much longer to clock on to this fact. All in all the film lacks a cohesive plot and any kind of pace making Arthur Newman, the character and the film, ever so slightly boring