Your appreciation of this remake of the 1981 comedy about a dyspeptic English billionaire-apparent will depend on how attached you are to the original vehicle for Dudley Moore, and how fond you are of Russell Brand. I enjoyed Moore’s giggly drunk act when I was 16, and I appreciate Brand’s outlaw appeal, too, but he struggles to convince as the playboy grappling with arrested development who falls for a free spirit instead of marrying for corporate convenience. The script is well enough updated by Borat co-writer Peter Baynham to include AA meetings, corporate greed and a Batmobile, and deadpan Helen Mirren gives as good as John Gielgud did 35 years ago as Arthur’s butler. But Brand’s sex appeal diminishes without a beard.
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