We need more directors willing to take risks with films like Get Out.
The thing about Moore, who people persisted in calling “Cuddly Dudley” although he hated it, is that he was just plain lovable. The thing about Russell Brand is that he isn't, not much, and he should get credit here for at least being a good deal more likable than he usually chooses to seem. He plays the alcoholic zillionaire Arthur Bach as a man who wants to party with the world and pick up the check.
Helen Mirren has the presence and authority of John Gielgud, but not the same aloof dignity. Gielgud's Hobson was a man so reserved, you sometimes wanted to knock and see if anyone answered. Then again, they've made Hobson into a nanny still loyal from Arthur's childhood, so she should be expected to love him in a more tender way.
The main plot beats are roughly the same: Arthur is drunk more or less all the time, and steadfast in his irresponsibility. He inadvertently falls in love with a sweet young woman named Naomi (Greta Gerwig), just as his controlling mother Vivienne (Geraldine James) is arranging his marriage with a very rich woman named Susan (Jennifer Garner). Susan wants him for his name; she may be rich, but she's not welcomed into the upper crust because her daddy (Nick Nolte) worked his way up in construction.
Naomi cares little about such matters and supports herself as an unlicensed guide giving bootleg tours of Grand Central Station. She's remarkably forgiving of Arthur's irregularities, considering he has the self-discipline and tact of a Charlie Sheen. But then neither “Arthur” deals with alcoholism as other than a colorful character trait. No one could drink like Arthur and not be dead at the end of 24 hours.