Mr. Bean’s Holiday
Rowan Atkinson’s cartoonish Mr. Bean character may be better suited to TV sketches than to a feature-length film. But this latter-day Anglo variation on the 1953 Jacques Tati classic, Mr. Hulot’s Holiday, has enough in the way of visual inventiveness and occasional hilarity to survive Bean’s lapses into brutal, unfunny farce. Bean’s vacation is mostly a mishap-laden journey across France, and some parts of his misadventure are little more than tourist nightmares tossed off asantic slapstick. There’s a blithe sort of cruelty in some of the jokes and stunts along the way, but the climactic sequences (at the Cannes Film Festival) have enough comic brilliance to justify our endurance of the ups and downs in the first 60 minutes. Emma de Caunes (as a friendly young actress) and Willem Dafoe (as a maniacally pretentious filmmaker) are attractively conspicuous among the various supporting players.