For fans of Rowan Atkinson, you're in for a treat of a big-screen release starring the iconic British actor -- the first since "Bean" a decade ago. (Yes, he's been in a handful of other films, but more as a secondary or quirky character as opposed to the main guy.)
Mr. Bean wins a church raffle for a vacation trip to Cannes, in France, along with a camcorder. He boards a train and arrives in Paris, but the French language presents particular challenges for him to get around and even find meals to his liking. As Bean does, he manages to get by anyway (and giving the audience a healthy dose of visual gags and facial expressions in this film light on dialogue).
Finding the train bound for Cannes, he asks Emil, a Russian film director en route to judge at the Cannes Film festival, to videotape Bean boarding the train -- and causing Emil to miss the train, though his son is still onboard. Bean tries to help the son, Stepan, reunite with Emil, though it goes poorly; Emil reports the boy kidnapped by Bean.
The rest of the adventure surrounds the goals of getting the boy back with dad, and Mr. Bean to finally see the beaches of Cannes. This is one of those films where the thrill is in the journey; the destination is very much secondary in the greater scheme of things.
If you're a fan of Atkinson, you'll love it, and the laughter proved that point. If, however, you're selecting films based on the ratings, it could go either way... the theatre was filled with folks I suspect were not familiar with the film or Atkinson's work, rather, were drawn to the "G" rating. As such, this crowd seemed pretty confused and rarely even broke a smile.
"Mr. Bean's Holiday" is devoid of car chases, sex scenes, profanity, and witty dialogue. Atkinson pulls it off, in much the same way he and his mannerisms have been delighting audiences for 30 years. (Heck, even mom watched "Black Adder" shows back in its hey-day, proof enough Atkinson isn't a generation-specific chap.) Even today, he's still delivering his brand of humor.
Even for non-fans, it's silly, harmless fun that the little ones will be able to 'get,' without needing to understand the conversation, which is basic when it's present at all. And in this case, it was largely unnecessary to enjoy the film.