The comedy of the movie, Bean (1997) works brilliantly due to several factors: firstly, Rowan Atkinson’s portrayal of a man with child-like innocence and curiosity about life propels him to snoop and “be” where he doesn’t belong. This causes an “Oh, no! He shouldn’t do that,” reaction in viewers—particularly teenagers. Secondly, the supporting cast for Bean is ideal. Dallas-born Peter MacNicol (Sophie’s choice, Ally McBeal, Chicago Hope) is perfect as the up-tight American Art Gallery manager, David Langley, who elects to host the eccentric doctor for a week, against his wife’s (Pamela Reed) wishes. David Langley is a likable family guy with his job on the line as the higher-ups at the gallery have made David responsible for the installation and presentation of the precious artwork arriving from England with Dr. Bean.
Atkinson doesn’t waste an opportunity to create a laugh. He is awkward and uncomfortable to watch at times; like when the bathroom faucet over sprays and douses the front of his pants. (Oh, no!) This little accident becomes the catalyst for a series of hilarious moves. It’s as though Atkinson has adopted the mind of a sixteen-year-old boy, but kudos to him because it works. The slapstick violence and gross accidents, the lewdness and finally, the desire to make things right for his new friend, David, make the movie, Bean (1997), a worth while experience.
There is some use of profanity; hell, damn, and the b-word as well as instances of taking the Lord’s name in vain. Nudity is partial and although there are several brief comments about sex, there is no sex. All violence is moderate and of the slapstick nature, instrumental in the comedy of the situation. Bean (1997) is rated PG-13. I was glad I watched this movie with my sixteen-year-old son and not anyone younger. We enjoyed it and still laugh when we talk about it. With its clever premise and excellent acting, I give Bean (1997), 5 out of 5 stars.