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Bean (1997)
Rated PG13

Starring: Rowan Atkinson, Peter MacNicol, and Pamela Reed

Rating:
**
out of
*****

After conquering the box-office around the world, Bean comes to the U. S. to try and duplicate its success here. Bean, played by Rowan Atkinson, is like a somewhat devious Jim Carrey character; except that Carrey's characters, for the most part, have an endearing quality that makes their antics a little easier to swallow. Bean doesn't possess many endearing qualities at all. In fact, he rarely speaks.

This doesn't stop Bean from being sent to America by London's National Art Gallery as an "art expert" to accompany "Whistler's Mother" to its new home in a Los Angeles museum. Peter MacNicol plays the curator who is responsible for managing the logistics of the painting and as a result, Bean is welcomed into his home for the duration of his trip.

Bean's antics force the curator's family to leave home for the refuge of his mother-in-law's house. Bean single-handedly destroys his kitchen while preparing a meal for guests. And, on a sight-seeing trip of Los Angeles, Bean manages to jerry-rig a virtual reality ride to function at warp speed. Of course, when a bumbling idiot like Bean is paired with a $50 million painting, there is little hope that the painting will remain unscathed.

Bean, the character, does have his moments. An introductory scene depicting him on duty as a guard in the National Art Gallery is hilarious. Later comic scenes fair much worse and, after awhile, I just wanted the man to say something rather than screwing up his face or snorting his way through a situation. A little Bean goes a long way.

Bean, the movie, is perfect for a night's rental but really not worth the money to see on the big screen. The Brits may have found this movie worth seeing again and again, but I didn't.

Trivia: Rowan Atkinson played the hot-shot comedian Ron Anderson in The Tall Guy with Jeff Goldblum and Emma Thompson. (Source: The Internet Movie Database)

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