Steve Bendelack, Screenplay – Hamish McColl on a story by Simon McBurney, based on the characters created by Rowan Atkinson and Robin Driscoll, Music – Howard Goodall.
Mister Bean wins a contest where the prize is a trip to Cannes.
In the course of the trip, a thousand setbacks occur, including losing a boy’s train and separating him from his father.
Bean is in charge of the young Stephan, but his clumsiness causes him to lose his documents and money, which increases the difficulties. By meddling in the filming of a film by the superb director Carson Clay, Bean finds a young French woman named Sabine whom she falls in love with.
With the help of Sabine, Bean will try to reach Cannes – where the boy’s father, who is a juror at the film festival, and the director Carson Clay, who presents one of his films and maintains a pronounced hatred against the clumsy tourist English.
Mr. Bean (Mr. Bean) is a cult comic character, created by Rowan Atkinson and Robin Driscoll, for an English TV series that was screened between January 1990 and October 1995, and aired only 18 episodes (or specials).
Atkinson until that moment was a figure known only on the British island, especially with his comedy Blackadder, but except for some minor participation in the cinema he had done nothing memorable.
Needless to say, Mr. Bean is the creation for which he gained international recognition.
English humor is plagued by exceptional comedians – from Benny Hill to the Monty Python – but an interesting quality is that many of them have excelled in silent comedy.
From the musical tracks of Benny Hill to the ballads of The Baldy Man, Mr. Bean only reflects that trend.
And it is an extremely difficult genre – the physical gag, the visual joke – but it handles a universal language and therefore it is usually very popular internationally.
The most obvious influence is that of silent film comedians – Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, and obviously Chaplin among many others.
But unlike the American gag – tending to the spectacular, English visual humor is much more minimalist.
It is not about men hanging from buildings, but simply from clumsy ordinary individuals with their hands locked in a soda vending machine.
It is a closer mood, one with which the audience quickly identifies.
Mr. Bean’s chemistry is based on a simple premise: he is an individual who has no idea how the world works, so every action – even the slightest and most common – that he wants to undertake is a gigantic task of almost impossible resolution, and that is only surpassed by ingenious – and bizarre – resources.
The common becomes something abnormal and is resolved by abnormal means. Obviously Atkinson adds a lot of pepper to the character to give it a certain character: he is a terribly selfish and foolish individual, oblivious to all the damages caused by his actions, and who usually succeeds at any cost.
It is the MacGyver of clumsiness.
No doubt the series is memorable, and there would be no lack of who would like to take the character to the cinema. In 1997, Bean: The Ultimate Disaster Movie would arrive, which, although it would make a considerable box office, would be considered a terrible film.
Bean’s problem is that the character had lost his essence, was involved in a complicated plot and not very interesting, surrounded by characters and, for worse sacrilege, spoke.
Considering that Mr. Bean’s grace is his solo action and his personal war against any kind of technology, the film ended up being bizarre – when not, with sovereignly boring parts.
As the box office says, in 2007 comes this second installment.
Mr. Bean’s Holidays, considering the bill for the first movie is considerably a better film.
At least director Bendelack understands the codes on which the series based his success. It is true that the plot is almost non-existent, and that it might have worked better as a special for TV than as a tape for the big screen – there are some stretched times, when not scenes with little grace – but the movie is redeemed as soon as Bean leaves the TGV and begins to wander alone in the French countryside.
There is Mr. Bean pure and classic: from the moment he insists on reaching the bus ticket, the arrival at the farm, or the priceless gags on the road – that of the motorcyclist is memorable, the film reaches its rhythm.
From there everything works the paws in the filming of the commercial, the meeting with Sabine, the arrival at the Cannes festival.
It is still a TV episode filmed in luxury, but it gets many good laughs.
Considering the flat level of the latest comedies on the bill, Mr. Bean’s Vacations is effective entertainment.
It is true that only half a film works, but when it does it is very effective.
Rowan Atkinson proves that he was born for the character; and if this is the farewell of it, at least he does it with enough splendor to be remembered.