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Interesting Findings And World Unfolding Through My Eyes.

Monday, September 3, 2007


The British tend to consider heroic a person who doesn’t have any ambition … In America, a person without any ambition is more of a loser,” says television producer Greg Daniels in a New York Times article by Dave Itzkoff (8/28/07). Greg is trying to explain the American reaction to “google-eyed, maladrot Mr. Bean, that British comedian Rowan Atkinson has proven adept at blundering his way through all manner of challenges.” True to form, Rowan is currently blundering through the challenge of American box office success, as his latest attempt, “Mr. Bean’s Holiday,” finished fourth in its first weekend, collecting just $10.1 million.

Maybe that’s not so bad — except that the film is absolutely blockbuster “throughout the rest of the world, where it has brought in more than $188 million since March.” And it’s all the more perplexing given that Mr. Bean “communicates in the international language of pratfalls and sight gags.” He’s kind of “a throwback to silent-screen clowns like Charlie Chaplin’s Little Tramp and Jacques Tati’s Monsieur Hulot.” Some speculate that it’s Mr. Bean’s British accent that turns off Americans. Not bloody likely. Others think that, unlike, say Homer Simpson, Mr. Bean is a total loser who never even attempts to redeem himself.

Still others say that it’s Mr. Bean’s slapstick sight-humor that’s just not in style here these days. “It’s the most dangerous thing in the world,” says Frank Oz, the director. “You can cut dialogue. You can’t cut out physical comedy if it doesn’t work.” And then there’s the notion that British comedies almost never do well in America, no matter what. Indeed, no British comedy has ever made “more than 25 percent of its total worldwide gross in America” None of this stops Rowan Atkinson, who will be back in American theaters soon in a reprise of his “2003 spy-movie parody, ‘Johnny English.’” Why? Well, because as producer Tim Bevan explains: “Rowan’s happy to bump into a lamp post. He’s done his Shakepeare already.” ~ Tim Manners, editor.

Posted by Ajay :: 5:25 PM :: 0 comments

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