FILM REVIEW: “Mr. Bean’s Holiday”

From Willamette Week, 8/22/07:

Like a handjob from a porcupine, 1997’s “Bean” was painful, because it committed two major sins in Rowan Atkinson’s bizarre, imported comic world of Bean-ology. First, it had a plot, and second, people talked too much. But where the original Bean movie put a plastic bag over its own head, “Mr. Bean’s Holiday” is surprisingly good. At its core, it’s a simple, standard road movie—after Bean wins a trip to the Cannes Film Festival at a church raffle, “Holiday” follows the super-flexible, tweed-wearing goofball’s roundabout journey from dreary London to the glitzy French Riviera. Thanks to Bean’s French being limited to “oui” and “gracias,” the movie is relegated to what’s actually pretty amusing physical comedy. It’s a return to the basics, like a Mr. Bean TV sketch at its best, topped off with the breathtakingly cute Emma de Caunes as Bean’s sidekick and a self-deprecating cameo by Willem Dafoe. Atkinson says this is the last appearance of his strange, grunting creation, and it’s as good a note as any to bid him a final adieu.

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