Director: Dante Ariola
Writer: Becky Johnston (screenplay)
Stars: Emily Blunt, Colin Firth, Anne Heche
Cross Creek Pictures, Cinedigm
“Arthur Newman” opens with a scene of the main character, Wallace Avery, played by Academy Award winning actor Colin Firth (The King’s Speech) talking to an employment worker at the “Florida Department of Labor” as she asks him if he has been looking for work after his last dead-end job. As the audience is gradually introduced to Wallace’s hum-drum life, it is quickly evident why he decides to shake things up.
Longing for more excitement and giving-up on his efforts to become closer to his son and ex-wife, Wallace sets out for a private adventure to a pro golf course where he was promised a shot at a better life. Carefully planning the steps, Wallace disappears after a camping trip on the beach. His long-time girlfriend, Mina Crawley (Anne Heche) and son are the two who end-up missing Wallace the most and comfort each other with memories and nights of sharing his home together.
Wallace begins a $10,000 new identity “Arhur J. Newman”, a name he made-up when asked by a golf pro many years ago, with $20,00 in pocket cash. Early-on along the way, Wallace encounters a spit-fire of a woman who calls herself Mike (Golden Globe winner, Emily Blunt). They find that they have more in common than it originally appears and become steadfast lovers and friends who play a game of taking-on random couples’ identities throughout their travels. Running away from pasts which they did not want to face, they conclude their journeys once it becomes evident that the right path was the one they were on all along before they met.
“Arthur Newman” is a story about two victims who are also survivors of life’s challenges who decide to run away and start anew as two different people. Emily Blunt and Colin Firth are brilliant. The storyline, not so much. The plot line of “Arthur Newman” a is as sketchy as the lead characters’ identities.
Much is left-out of the back-stories to just how Wallace Avery reached some success as an “amateur” golf-player playing pro and how he was estranged from his wife and son. I recommend not to see this movie when it opens in theaters Friday, April 26, 2013.