I've said many times, we love an asshole. The titular Arthur is an obnoxious blowhard who laughs at his own jokes and the movie begins with him hiring a prostitute. He's already drunk and will remain so through most of the film. He laughs loudly, and even louder at his own jokes. He makes a scene wherever he goes. But, most of it feels harmless enough that we can laugh even when his jokes go on too long. Roger Ebert says in his review,
Only someone with a heart of stone could fail to love a drunk like Arthur Bach, who spends his wasted days in a poignant search for someone who will love him, will care for him, will inflame his passions, and soothe his pain, and who, most of all, will laugh at his one-liners.
Plus, the relationship between Arthur (Dudley Moore) and Hobson (John Gielgud) is a lovely thing. Arthur is a grown up child and Hobson is like the most patient "parent" there could ever be. Still, Hobson's dry wit and his occasional smack suggests Hobson is not entirely permissive.
And then, as is often the case with these movies I have seen far too many times, I find myself just sitting here, enjoying it, forgetting to write anything.
Arthur has a great moment, on his first date with Linda (Liza Minnelli); quite sober but mostly still immature, he says to her, "I've never taken care of anybody. Everybody's always taken care of me. But, if you got sick, or anything, I'd take care of you." And, he means it.
It's strange, but this film is both making me quite thoughtful about life and keeping my attention away from ranting. I saw Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool in the theater today. It wasn't the best of films, though the lead performances from Jamie Bell and Annette Bening were amazing. But, it was a sad film, the kind that makes you think about your life, about love. And, it's set in 1981, which is where I am in this deconstruction... almost done with 1981, actually. Just one more movie after Arthur. Combine it with Arthur tonight and I'm in my head too much. Tomorrow, maybe more words will come out.