Saturday, December 8, 2012

Bernard and the Genie

In the early 1990's, I first caught BERNARD AND THE GENIE on US cable but it was, in fact, a UK TV film from 1991. I enjoyed it immensely at the time but never saw it again in the ensuing years. I did, however, see its three stars again, two of whom I saw for the very first time in this film.

Alan Cumming plays the normal guy in the film, Bernard. In real life, his astronomically successful career can hardly be described as "normal." Awarded "Best Television Newcomer for BERNARD AND THE GENIE," he went on to alternate between television, stage and International screen roles including an award-winning turn as the emcee in CABARET and Nightcrawler of THE X-MEN.

Lenny Henry, the genie, was already well-known in England both for stand-up and sketch comedy. The same year he did BERNARD..., he flopped at the box office in TRUE IDENTITY, a big-screen US comedy that missed his appeal almost entirely and attempted to remake him over as an American. He went on to do several series of the popular CHEF TV series as well as become a sort of elder statesman of UK comedy.

Rowan Atkinson, the only one I'd seen before, was the villain of the piece, a role he played with relish and gusto, much the way he played the various incarnations of Blackadder and later Mr. Bean, on his way to becoming a UK national treasure whose participation in the recent royal celebrations literally stole the show.

No comments:

Post a Comment