Genre: Comedy, Drama
Rated: Not rated
Directed by: Dante Ariola
Starring: Emily Blunt, Colin Firth, Anne Heche
Released by: Cinedigm
Run time: 101 minutes
by Alain Gayot
Romantic comedies aren’t what they used to be – and that’s not a bad thing. Gone are the days of the sugary-sweet stories that made actresses like Sandra Bullock and Julia Roberts household names. “Arthur Newman” is the latest example of the shift in the genre towards more plausible plots involving flawed characters, such as “Silver Linings Playbook” and “(500) Days of Summer.”
For his feature film debut, director Dante Ariola chose this very realistic account of a middle-aged man experiencing a mid-life crisis. Colin Firth (“The King’s Speech,” “Bridget Jones’s Diary”) plays Wallace Avery, the depressed lower-level FedEx employee living in Orlando, Florida, who is divorced, estranged from his son and disappointed with his life. He decides to purchase a new identity – Arthur Newman – and take off on a road trip to Terre Haute, Indiana, where he plans to reinvent himself as a golf pro at a small country club. Along the way, he meets Michaela “Mike” Fitzgerald, played by Emily Blunt (“Looper,” “The Wolfman”), a kleptomaniac with her own secrets.
The film focuses on the story of the unexpected couple as they fall in love and follow their own paths to find themselves. As unconventional protagonists, Oscar-winner Firth and Blunt add a certain depth to their characters that makes you care about what happens to them. Despite their 23-year age difference, the two create a believable dynamic, proving that the theme of self-discovery can be relevant at any stage in life.
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