Keeping Mum (2005)

Whenever I see actor Rowan Atkinson, I immediately associate him with Britain’s popular physical comedian- Mr. Bean. When I saw that he was in the film Keeping Mum, I decided to check it out.

The plot focuses on family life in rural Britain. Atkinson is the small town’s vicar, and he has a wife and two children. While this should be honest small town living, it’s not exactly idyllic as the daughter is a nymphomaniac, the son is bullied at school, and their mother is having an affair with her golf pro- all while the vicar is oblivious to this as he focuses more on the well being of his congregation and the Church. In the middle of this, the family takes in a new housekeeper. Unbeknownst to the family, she was previously at a “home for the criminally insane” for committing murder, and still has no remorse, and no morals. If good comedy comes out of the impossible, than we have a good setup here.

Unfortunately, Keeping Mum bumps along, and not that much happens. Yes, the housekeeper does some mischief, but there’s really not much humor in killing a neighbor’s dog in the end. The family does get some healing, and acting more appropriately, but it all feels as believable as a Brady Bunch episode. In other words, things don’t really happen this way. Finally, Atkinson, who is so strong as a physical comedian never really gets to use his skills to bring this film to life.

In short, this film was merely average, but it could have been considerably better. For those wanting to see Atkinson at his comedic best, it’s still via the Mr. Bean television series.

Overall Grade: C+

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