Upon first glance a film starring Emily Blunt and Colin Firth should be a sure fired winner. Seems like an acting match made in heaven. And yet, this film falls short. Falls short in that the premise is an interesting one and the actors do what they can, but that does not add up to something worthy of these sums.
Nothing in his life seems to be working or at least making him happy. Wallace Avery (Colin Firth – Bridget Jones’s Diary, Mamma Mia! The Movie) is divorced, his son Kevin (Lucas Hedges – Manchester by the Sea, Lady Bird) is less than thrilled with him, his chance of being a golf pro was wasted, he hates his job, and he and his girlfriend Mina (Anne Heche – Donnie Brasco, Wag the Dog) are definitely in a rut. Things are so bleak in his mind that he comes up with a plan to fake his own death and take on the new persona of Arthur Newman.
His plan seems on its way to working when it is thrown off course by another wreck of a human being, Mike (Emily Blunt – A Quiet Place, Edge of Tomorrow). Though they are total opposites with Wallace being a straight laced kind of guy and Mike being a risk taker who seems to go whatever way the wind blows, they hit the road together (on Wallace’s way to take on a job as a golf pro at a course) assuming the lives of others and a little crime takes place along the way.
As a fan of the two actors I really wanted to like this film, and while I did not hate it, there certainly was some disappointment felt. Most of the entire film felt a little empty. Like it was missing something. The actors are not to blame as they gave what they could. They make Mike and Wallace likeable, but somehow I did not really care what happened to them. Was not invested in them. I think that the fault lies with a rather underdeveloped story. Such potential yet somewhere along this road trip it goes wrong for all involved.
Director Dante Ariola (The Human Preservation Project) does not seem to have a clear idea as to where he is going with it all. Seems just as lost as his characters. It all added up to something rather forgettable.
-Cast and Crew on Making Arthur Newman