COMEDY; 1hr 50min

STARRING: Russell Brand, Helen Mirren, Greta Gerwig, Jennifer Garner, Geraldine James

Man-child about town: Brand and Mirren

A $1 billion fortune is never to be sneezed at. Is man-child son and heir Arthur Bach (played by Dudley Moore in 1981, now unevenly reprised by Brand) prepared to cop a loveless marriage for his? Rightly comprehending that her naughty boy is in no shape to run an international family company, Arthur’s frosty mother (James) is bullying him into marrying a supremely capable and — for Arthur — unsuitable corporate sort (Garner). Arthur’s unflappable nanny (Mirren) urges him to play ball, yet perpetually hammered and wilfully immature as he is, even Arthur knows this is a terrible idea. Besides which, he’s fallen for a kindred free soul (Gerwig).


He’s no Olivier — and no Dudley Moore, come to that — but Brand just about manages to make a winning case for arrested development despite too many comedically strained bouts as director Jason Winer strives to keep the showboat on course. The supporting cast plays amiably along and as the yin to Arthur’s batty yang; a poised and motherly Mirren is the best. The patchy foolery is forgettable and slight but she is its consistently elegant guiding light.