Mr. Bean is an internationally known character, but like all internationally known things he’s not as well known here in the US. Sure, he has been shown on PBS from time to time, but for most of us, who’s Mr. Bean? Mr. Bean is a clumsy bumbling soft mumbling man. The hilarious Rowan Atkinson portrays him.
In Bean, Mr. Bean (Rowan Atkinson) is a guard of some sort, though I could be wrong because the position is unspecified, at the London National Art Gallery. When a rich man in the US donates enough money to buy back the Whistler’s Mother from the London National Art Gallery, the US Grierson Gallery requests that an expert accompany it to introduce it to the public. What the Gallery gets is Mr. Bean. The curator of the Gallery (Peter MacNicol) unknowingly volunteers to host Mr. Bean at his house, to the dismay of his family and wife (Pamela Reed).
Rowan Atkinson is a great physical comedian who is funny but not annoying (as with the case of Jim Carrey). The comedy bits in Bean are hilarious and most of them had me laughing out loud. The problem was that there was too much quiet time between the bits. Taking a TV show that’s based on short skits and stretching that out to a 90 minute feature film is a tough thing to do. Though Bean comes close to pulling it off it fails in two ways.
The first is that there are, like I said, too many quiet moments between the comedy bits. These expository moments put the movie into the real world setting and this leads to the second reason why Bean fails. The Mr. Bean character is a character that lives best in his own world. The things that he does do not live too well in the real world, and by taking the Mr. Bean character and sticking him in the real world, it takes a lot away from the comedy. The most apparent place where the comedy just feels awful because it’s set in the real world is the hospital scene. If that had been done in Mr. Bean’s world, it would have been hilarious, but as it is in the film, there is a kind of uneasy that follows the scene.
But, don’t get me wrong, Bean is a funny funny movie that in parts almost had me in tears laughing. These scenes include Bean in the restroom, Bean at the park, and Bean with a turkey. Rowan Atkinson is perfect as Mr. Bean. I would recommend seeing Bean during a matinee showing, it is good silly fun that is somewhat flawed.