COLIN FIRTH and Emily Blunt are delightful, talented English actors. As dumb, ugly Americans, we love that about them. Their accents and posture demonstrate that they are not like us. They are classy. And better. So why their agents recommended that they both ditch their charm and act like losers in Arthur Newman is beyond me.
Arthur Newman is about a Florida man who is so miserable in his life, and so bad as a dad and a Kinko's manager, that he fakes his own death and hits the road with the new name of (wait for it) Arthur Newman. This is a character who, when presented with the special opportunity to create whatever new life he wants, decides to go to fucking Indiana. Along the way he meets Mike (Emily Blunt), an equally tortured loser. Is this stranger ALSO concealing something about herself? Maybe! (Yes.)
Much more interesting than watching Mike and Arthur open up about their secret lives is watching Colin Firth and Emily Blunt try to shake their English-ness to become schluppy Americans. Blunt comes out fairly okay, but Colin Firth—excuse me, Oscar-winner Colin Firth—is painfully hard to watch as he awkwardly trips over lines like "How's life treatin' you?" in some failed folksy dialect. Come on, man! You're Mr. Darcy! You're Mark Darcy! You're the motherfucking KING! Why are you doing this? Stop trying to be from Florida. That's gross. And you're bad at it.
Now then, aside from really weird casting, was Arthur Newman good? Um, not really. I spent a long while thinking I was on the verge of liking it before realizing I was actually just really bored. It's a shame that Colin Firth and Emily Blunt didn't combine their quaint-as-fuck forces to make something better.