Bean Cover Now I am sure that you will agree with me when I say that, at times, actions speak louder than words. Well, don’t you find that this form of direct communication, does have a more pertinent and profound way of putting your point across? And this, for me, is illustrated rather jovially in this film – Directed by: Mel Smith; and Starring: Rowan Atkinson, Peter MacNicol, and Burt Reynolds. It was made in 1997 and lasts for 87-minutes.


Californian museum curator, David Langley (Peter MacNicol), is in a whole world of trouble, and he does not even know it yet.

You see, he was given a rather simple task by his superiors,  to choose, welcome, and then take care or a representative of the British museum, so that this ‘special guest’ could give a speech on one of their new acquisitions, a painting of Whistlers Mother.

But how was David supposed to know that his ‘guest’ was none other then British Buffoon, Mr. Bean (Rowan Atkinson)?

OK, I know what you are thinking. How can this one man cause so much trouble for David? Well, for a start, Mr Beans presence causes dissention in David’s household – causing his family to leave him. Next, David’s work colleges are bemused by Mr Beans antics – and David is warned by his boss because of this. After that, David discovers that Mr Bean isn’t a fine art critique, but rather a lowly security guard – which gives him great cause for concern. However, the final straw for David comes when Mr Bean accidentally damages the painting of Whistlers Mother, when he is left alone with this valuable item that costs over fifty thousand dollars !


Thankfully, though, due to an idea given to him by David’s son, Mr Bean comes up with the plan to rectify this latter mistake. He breaks into the museum, he neutralises the security guard, and then he swaps the damaged painting with a less costly substitute.

Still, will this endeavour be enough to satisfy the museum, plus the buyer of the painting, General Newton (Burt Reynolds), when it is finally unveiled to the public the following day?


And that is why what next transpires is a rather redemptive and jovial affair indeed.  Because art comes out to glow – speeches are hard to follow – surgeons are ready to go – and a family comes together for the end of this show.

Boy, isn’t that Mr Bean a swell guy? Shame that he did not say much.

Now I have to admit that I did enjoy watching the film ‘Mr Beans Holiday’ (click here for review). But did I feel the same way about its predecessor? ‘Bean’? Because was it dry roasted like its coffee bean namesake? Or alternatively, was it covered in thick gooey tomato sauce like its haricot bean namesake?

Well – a bit of both really.

Now what I mean by this, is that I found this film conceptually a film of two half’s.

Bean Smile
Initially, the first half of this film – or the gooey half – wasn’t really my cup of tea to be honest with you. I found that it was fairly bog standard sketch-like material, which had been cobbled together with a paint it by numbers set-up / execute gag rate.

However, the second half of this film – or the dry half – was much more to my liking. Personality speaking, I found that it drove home the whole essence of ‘Bean’ – a fish out of water who can do wondrous things in the most silliest of fashions. Moreover, the danger level of the plot was raised considerably, when Bean did a dirty on Whistlers Mother.

Granted, I did find that the tail end of ‘Bean’ was overtly redemptive in tone – as if it was trying too hard to tie up all the loose ends. Still, this is merely a minor quibble by in large, and I did enjoy the films conclusion.

Bean Shave

Also, this film does have some history behind it too. Because did you know: (1) The Director of this film, Mel Smith, worked with the star of this film, Rowan Atkinson, in the eighties British sketch show ‘Not the Nine O’Clock News’. (2) One of the Writers / Producers of this film, Richard Curtis, was one of the writers on Rowans Atkinson’s BBC historical spoof ‘Blackadder’. (3) On its release, this film was criticized for not having enough ‘Bean’ in it. (4) The painting of Whistlers Mother is now in Paris, even though it was actually painted by Whistler in London. (5) Burton Reynolds is part Cherokee Indian and part Irish. (6) Peter MacNicol is actually a theatrical actor, who has a special talent for comedy. (7) Rowan Atkinson was brought up in the Anglican faith, his Father was a farmer, and he is the youngest of four sons. (8) The creation of Mr Bean was inspired by Jacques Tati, a comedic actors from silent era. And (9) I do have a ‘Mr Bean’ like nature about myself – because I am a bit of a klutz at times.

Now, overall, I have to say that I did not mind watching this film at all. I liked the dynamic between Rowan and Peter – I enjoyed watching the cameos by Burt Reynolds, John Mills, Sanda Oh, and Pamela Reed – and I especially loved the ‘dangerous’ elements to this film (you know what I am talking about if you have watched it).

Hey, what do you think about ‘Bean’, Mr Bean?

Fair enough.


BEAN BEAN Reviewed by David Andrews on February 10, 2012 Rating: 5
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