Bernard Bottle, a mild mannered art buyer, is fired by his greedy boss, abandoned by his girlfriend and discovers a genie in an old bottle. The genie immediately embraces the modern world and helps Bernard on the side.
Mr. Bean stumbles belligerently through a series of routine daily events, each one going horribly wrong and treating the audience to another dose of unintentional hilarity as only Bean can.
This is the first time I have seen any of the old Bean TV shows that aired in the UK before the movie was released here in the states in 1997. I was reminded of some of Roberto Benigni's older films, such as Johnny Stecchino, which I watched because I was endlessly impressed with Life Is Beautiful. As in Benigni's case, the comedy in Bean's older TV show is virtually identical to that in his movie.
Some of the scenes go on for a little too long, such as the diving board scene, but there are some scenes that just about knocked me off the couch I was laughing so hard, such as the television scene. When Bean is inching along the chair on his belly, crawling steadily closer to the TV so he can see it, he finally gets to a point where he can see the screen, and the second he turns his head toward it the reception goes out again. Believe me, this is a lot funnier in the show than it is in my review. It was totally predictable but completely side-splitting, I loved it.
The swimming pool scene is followed by two only slightly less amusing skits, one involving a remarkably complex lunch in the park that just goes all wrong in the end and the other involving a date to a horror movie which, as with the diving board scene, goes on for a little too long.
The next episode contains three more scenes that are entertaining in their own little Beany way, but none of which come close to the TV scene in the first episode. There is also a bonus skit at the end during which Bean makes extensive and hilarious efforts to get to the front of the line at the bus stop, even going so far as to cut in front of a mother with a baby carriage and to trick a blind man into thinking that the bus is there and then stepping into the street.
I think we all know how this ends, and it's strange that Bean's comedy can be so predictable and still be so entertaining. Excellent source of light comedy and even insightfulness, at least in that it is interesting (although obvious) to consider why the bus stop skit was not previously shown on television. Not exactly the most intellectual entertainment, but the quality is there.
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