Bean ★★★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

I guess I'm gonna watch this at least once a year. I'm still not ready to go back to Holiday yet. My notes:

Bean drinking the (presumably) freshly boiled kettle water explains how he can so casually shave his tongue. He's obviously drunk coffee like this before, thereby burning away all nerve endings in his mouth. Ergo, he cannot feel the razor.

Any man who can fall asleep less than an hour after *that* coffee needs medical attention.

So... Charles can have the chairman's resignation if he goes near Bean... isn't the chairman *above* Charles? Isn't that why Charles needs his go-ahead to fire Bean? Surely the chairman wouldn't give his resignation to Charles? And if he did, he'd surely just be making it easier for Charles to fire Bean? Why not say "I'll expect YOUR resignation if you go anywhere near him"?

Allison picks up a frying pan, walks to the fridge, picks up a tomato, and then walks back over to the counter. Just seems like an odd order to be doing things in. Also, since she just performed the world's most aggressive garlic crush, I keep thinking she's about to splat the tomato with the pan.

First class looks very empty.

Walter blowing on Whistler's Whistle and then handing it off for David to "try" is not sanitary. That's how you get GERMS!

Bean walking backwards on the travelator like a slinky on an escalator.

How long was Bean's underwear in that oven?

The joke is that David is misunderstanding what Bean has said, but his sentiment that more scholars should "just sit and look at the paintings themselves" is a beautiful one. Analysis and criticism of art is obviously incredibly important, sometimes it's necessary to fully understand an artwork's context and craft in order to fully appreciate the art itself, but then sometimes art can just be good without *needing* analysis. I guess our favourite paintings, songs, or movies all speak to us on a deeper level, something we feel rather than write about. I understand the irony of writing this whilst watching a movie I am seemingly incapable of watching *without* writing notes.

Walter is in front of a giant canvas painted in shades of purple. I'm thinking this is subtly hinting at the fact, which we've been screaming for years, that Walter "Merchandise" Huntley is canonically bisexual. I hope Walter and Bernice are friends.

How did David not notice the luggage?

Bean and David have the whole Weeknd (Band) together.

A cursory Google search showed no listing for a "Gallery of American Indian Art" in Los Angeles, so I have no idea if this is an unfortunately named gallery for art by Native Americans or if it's an appropriately named gallery for art by Americans with ancestry from India.

I'm not sure what Bean uses the screwdriver for, the "speed control" is just a little rotary switch.

Every viewing I go back and forth on if it's the greens or the yellows...

The Griersons bringing two bottles of wine is so clearly a reference to Rickie D.'s famous dinner scene in Jaws.

Why do they just have two lone, unpackaged hot dogs in the fridge? I can only assume this is how all Americans eat.

I just watched The Super Inframan, and there's a scene in that where the titular man cuts off a monster's head like six or seven times and every time it just grows instantly back. I'm thinking a similar thing is going on with Bean here, and that several times throughout this movie he actually suffers fates that would kill a mortal man, but he just regrows. First death: The turkey incident. This also leads me to consider that some of the "scraps" Bean and David are eating in the scene immediately following may actually be the flesh of the previous Bean.

Bean's top pocket, as shown in the opening "coffee" scene, houses a handkerchief. In America, the top pockets house laminated identity cards. We talked before about how one of the major themes of this film is to do with cultural differences, and perhaps this is another example. Bean, representing the British, displays a sense of practicality, whereas the Americans are more in-your-face, making sure you *know* who they are. Perhaps this is a commentary on how David needs to find the middle ground between practicality and reasserting his own identity to himself in the midst of his ongoing identity crisis. The British half of this analysis falls apart somewhat when, of course, you remember that the British do things like make their palace guards wear those bearskin hats which, as Joe Pera rightly said, is "ridiculous, unethical, and makes everyone in their country seem like fools" (Pera, 2019 2:20).

Bean trying to block the door with the plant and David just walking in the side door reminds me of a similar gag in Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein. Also, why are there two small side doors *right* next to the massive middle door?

Elmer The Killdozer mentions that the "underground ventilation ducts are completely secure". I've joked in the past that it's weird how the gallery say they've spent loads on security and yet Bean is so easily able to pull off a grand heist, but I think there's actually something to that. They've spent so much on every *other* aspect of security, but they didn't bother to put any security towards someone just fucking walking in and taking it because, well, who would be stupid enough to try something that simple? Bean, in his stupidity, completely accidentally stumbles across the gallery's main security flaw! Fucking hell this film is genius!

I do find it kind of sweet (in an incredibly depressing way) that, despite everything with the painting, it's only when Allison says she might leave David that he says "Well then things really *have* gotten bad". Despite everything, despite him seemingly putting his entire life into his work, in this moment of drunken sincerity, he shows that her love remains the most important thing in his life. In the end, David's entire arc can be seen as learning to set boundaries between work and life, learning to stop the writing, lecturing and arguing, learning to stop and "look at the paintings".

Of course, you could also view the film as having the more problematic ideology that how David needs to restore "traditional family values" by learning to "be a man". I'm not sure I agree with this viewpoint. To me, the message the film is trying to get across is basically that the way for David to be a better husband is to just listen to what his wife has to say. Like Sol says in Aronofsky's Pi, "The point of the story is the wife. Listen to your wife, she'll give you perspective". Although... hang on, I swear I'm writing this down *as* it's coming to me! A film about a meek scholar named David asserting his masculinity and in the process driving his wife further and further away... That's Straw Dogs.

Newton calls Whistler's Mother "America's greatest painting" despite the fact it was painted in the UK. Just like how this UK production might well be called "America's greatest film".

I'm still not sure why Brutus needs David to rush to the hospital to the point that he (entirely unprofessionally) encourages him to "keep speeding". I appreciate that you'd want to be there with your family as soon as possible, I appreciate that Brutus may be sympathetic towards that fact, but at the end of the day she's in a coma, why does he need to be there *that* quickly. Besides that, we have speed limits for a reason! David might appreciate their importance given that he's speeding to the hospital to see his daughter who has just been in, ya know, a traffic collision!

Chest paddles would also have killed Bean. Maybe that means the rest of the film takes place in some sort of afterlife, à la Flatliners.

Okay, maybe we had the wrong idea the whole time. This viewing he said, "It's sparkly and clean".

I wonder what the framing people thought when Bean brought them the photo of the biker flipping him off...

==Works Cited==
“Joe Pera Guides You Through the Dark.” Joe Pera Talks with You, created by Joe Pera, season 2, episode 4, Chestnut Walnut Unlimited, 2019.

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