It takes a bold man to dare to follow in Dudley Moore's footsteps. And "bold" would certainly describe Russell Brand, among many other things. It's hard to think of anyone better suited than Brand to tackle the iconic role of Arthur Bach, the loud, boorish-yet-affable British hero of the 1981 classic 'Arthur.'
Thirty years later, the movie's timeless theme of love versus money still holds water. The updated 'Arthur' stays remarkably true to the original, with a few key exceptions. For instance, rather than a prickly manservant (played by John Gielgud in the original), Arthur has a sharp-witted nanny played by Helen Mirren this time around. Brand and Mirren are an unlikely comedic duo, but they have such great chemistry it's easy to imagine them teaming up again and again.
And instead of having an uptight Daddy and snobby Grandma to please, modern Arthur has a cold-as-ice mother to contend with. Mommy Dearest fears that Arthur's public shenanigans, like crashing his Batmobile on the streets of Manhattan, make her corporate shareholders nervous. To remedy the situation, she proposes that Arthur marry her promising young employee, Susan (Jennifer Garner).
While the '80s version of Susan was sweet, Jennifer Garner's updated portrayal is sour. She'll stop at nothing to get the Bach name, and she doesn't care that Arthur clearly despises her. Naturally, Arthur falls in love shortly after agreeing to marry Susan. Like the original, the best part of watching this 'Arthur' is seeing him exploit his exorbitant wealth. From his tricked-out penthouse suite -- complete with a magnetic bed and a movie theater playing cartoons on a loop -- the affable hero lives a life we average folks can only dream of.
Of course, the entire movie hinges on the premise that he can lose his fortune at any time if he doesn't go through with the marriage. With that in mind, here's a list of Arthur's most memorable cinematic counterparts who also found themselves at risk of losing a whole lot of money.
1. Arthur Bach (Dudley Moore) in 'Arthur.' Oh, Arthur. Does he really think he could survive without his money? His booze bills alone must be at least the size of an average schmuck's annual salary. As his snarky manservant Hobson points out, shacking up with Liza (with a z!) would undoubtedly save him a ton of cash he'd otherwise be spending on hookers. But still. Could you imagine Arthur schlepping around town on the subway, sans chauffeur? I mean really. Arthur needs to prevent Daddy and Grandma from cutting him off!
2. Monty Capuletti (Rodney Dangerfield) in 'Easy Money.' Rodney is truly the master of playing lovable buffoons. In 'Easy Money,' though, his character must curb his buffoonery or risk losing out on a $10 million inheritance. No more boozin', gamblin' or piggin' out for Monty if he wants to get his hands on the money! Can he do it? Is it physically possible for any character played by Rodney Dangerfield to NOT be a buffoon?
3. Billy Madison (Adam Sandler) in 'Billy Madison.' It was pretty hilarious when Rodney Dangerfield went 'Back to School,' and it's almost as amusing when Billy Madison does it. The stakes are high for Billy, who won't get to run his daddy's company unless he graduates from high school. (You'd think his father would have thrown an MBA stipulation in there, too, but whatevs.) Naturally, Billy gets hot for teacher while back at school.
4. Van Wilder (Ryan Reynolds) in 'National Lampoon's Van Wilder.' Van has the opposite problem Billy Madison has. His rich daddy can't get him to leave school! After seven years at college, daddy cuts Van off, and he's forced to stop drifting and focus on wrapping up his degree. Minus daddy's funds, Van still manages to snag himself a personal assistant, Taj (Kal Penn), whom he pays in advice on how to score chicks. Looks like Van might be able to make it on his own.
5. Joanna Stayton (Goldie Hawn) in 'Overboard.' Super-diva Joanna doesn't technically get cut off, but she does lose access to her megabucks when she loses access to her memory. The spoiled, heartless heiress is forced to live like workin' folks, shacked up with hunky Kurt Russell. Hmm. Well, maybe the simple life isn't so bad.