Mr. Bean's Holiday

Mr. Bean's Holiday

2007, G, 88 min. Directed by Steve Bendelack. Starring Rowan Atkinson, Emma de Caunes, Max Baldry, Willem Dafoe, Karel Roden.

REVIEWED By Marrit Ingman, Fri., Aug. 24, 2007

There’s not much to say about Mr. Bean’s Holiday, a semisequel to 1997’s Bean, which found Atkinson’s tweedy, semi-verbal-bungling Englishman abroad in Los Angeles. If you like the character – his tooty yellow Mini, his busily working beetle brows, his tendency to point and grunt and eat shellfish whole – then you will be rewarded with 88 minutes of such. If you are not a fan, Holiday will not win you. Not even with its references to Jacques Tati (the film’s salute to Jour de Fête is prominently featured in the trailer), not even with Bean’s French moppet of a traveling sidekick (Baldry), not even with the winsome young actress (de Caunes) with whom Bean has a thankfully chaste attraction. At the end of the day, it’s either funny when Bean chases a chicken to get back his bus ticket, or it isn’t, and you know where you stand. There’s a satirical bit about a gasbag film director (Dafoe) premiering a ponderous pic at Cannes, Bean’s holiday destination, and I did laugh at Bean disguised as an old woman. (It was the hat.) Certainly Atkinson’s flair for being Bean has not diminished, and he still has the timing and physical control necessary for a satisfying performance of the role at feature length – though some reports suggest Atkinson intends to retire the character after this film. But in the final analysis, this Holiday is a so-so late-summer diversion, unlikely to reignite Beanmania – or repeat the previous film’s boffo box office. It’s worth noting that longtime collaborator Richard Curtis is absent from the credits, and while the G rating correctly suggests that the film is inoffensive to children, that doesn’t mean they won’t be terrified when a father and son are separated in a train station, leaving the boy in childlike (and occasionally mean-spirited) Bean’s dubious care.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Rowan Atkinson Films
Johnny English Strikes Again
Time to revoke this agent's license

Marc Savlov, Oct. 26, 2018

Johnny English Reborn
Rowan Atkinson brings his particular brand of physical comedy to this James Bond spy spoof.

Marjorie Baumgarten, Oct. 21, 2011

More by Marrit Ingman
Wonder Stories
Wonder Stories

July 25, 2008

King Corn
The film’s light hand, appealing style, and simple exposition make it an eminently watchable inquiry into the politics of food, public health, and the reasons why corn has become an ingredient in virtually everything we eat.

Nov. 9, 2007


Mr. Bean's Holiday, Steve Bendelack, Rowan Atkinson, Emma de Caunes, Max Baldry, Willem Dafoe, Karel Roden

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle