ABC Film Challenge – 90’s Movies – B – Bean (1997) Movie Review


Director: Mel Smith

Writer: Richard Curtis, Robin Driscoll (Screenplay)

Starring: Rowan Atkinson, Peter MacNicol, John Mills, Pamela Reed, Harris Yulin, Burt Reynolds

Plot: The bumbling Mr. Bean travels to America when he is given the responsibility of bringing a highly valuable painting to a Los Angeles museum.

Tagline – Be afraid, be very afraid, Mr. Bean has a passport.

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Bean starts when Mr Bean (Atkinson) gets sent from the Royal National Gallery of London to LA to represent England in their gallery working with David Langley (MacNicol). With the Americans believing Mr Bean is a great art expect, they grant him all access to the gallery.

When a famous painting, Whistler’s Mother arrives, it doesn’t take long for Mr Bean to ruin the pieces, leading to David needing to go on a desperate mission to try and save his career.

Thoughts on Bean

Characters & Performances – Mr Bean is known as the slacker at the National Gallery of London who most board members want axed, but the chairman won’t allow it, he gets sent to America to mostly get rid of him. He doesn’t know a thing about art but is thrust into a world where they believe he is an expect, which is filled with his errors along the way, ones that will lead to him needing to comically try and fix. Rowan Atkinson became an international star with this role, while it might not be a character I enjoy watching, he commits to make a role that will enjoy laughing with. David Langley is the expect in the LA gallery knowing this latest piece of art will be a moment that changes his life, he welcomes Mr Bean into his home, but at a cost, as his family doesn’t want him around, Mr Bean could bring his life into chaos on levels he would never have imagined. Peter MacNicol does well in this role, which will see him needing to work off Rowan’s slapstick style. The supporting cast will all bring us a serious side that must react to the slapstick style of his comedy.

StoryThe story here follows Mr Bean as he is set to LA to get out of the hair of the British Gallery, here he finds himself in a position where the people believe he is an expect on art, only for his actions to cause more problems that he is used to getting involved in. this is an extended version of a typical Mr Bean skit, taking him into a world where he shouldn’t be involved in, while trying to have the heart of a family adventure. It doesn’t try to complicate a simple idea either which is could well have done like many other extended comedy show films.

ThemesBean is a comedy that will get the laughs if you like the slapstick style of Mr Bean, using the location to put Mr Bean in a new land, a place where he has never been, making him the tourist in this world. The straight faced reaction to most of what is going on with the American characters does help for parts of the film.


Bean is a comedy that might not get the laughs he wants to, but ends up coming off well enough for the fans of the style.

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