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'Arthur Newman' has a dreary plot despite its star leads

The plot of 'Arthur Newman' – loners embark on an odyssey full of life lessons – seems to be more interesting to filmmakers than audiences.

By Peter RainerFilm critic / April 26, 2013

Colin Firth and Emily Blunt are two of the most attractive performers in movies, so the prospect of seeing them teamed in “Arthur Newman” was promising.

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Alas, it’s a dreary road movie about two loners who, you know, bond over life’s mishaps.

Firth’s Wallace Avery is divorced, estranged from his teenage son, and on the outs in his work (it’s not clear what he does).

His solution: Walk away from his old life and assume a new identity as one Arthur Newman, bound for Terre Haute, Ind., and a possible job as a country club golf pro.

En route he meets “Mike” (Blunt), a kleptomaniac with commitment issues, at a seedy motel.

They embark on one of those maundering, life-lessony odysseys that filmmakers love but audiences rarely do.

The film, directed by Dante Ariola and written by Becky Johnston, asks the question: Is it possible to truly start life all over again? “Arthur Newman” might have been better if it had not started at all.

Grade: C- (Rated R for sexual content, language and brief drug use.)


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