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" One man’s sludge is another man’s potpourri "
— Jim Carrey, Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas

MRQE Top Critic

Mr. Bean's Holiday

When you love a movie that earns 50% on the Tomatometer, it's safer to call it a "guilty pleasure" —Marty Mapes (DVD review...)

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Director Todd Solondz knows exactly how to make a scene extremely uncomfortable. He’ll hold on a social impoliteness just a little too long, or have a character say something a little too honest at just the wrong moment. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the subject of the film is sex — one character is a pedophile, one makes harassing phone calls, and the most sexually “normal” characters are messed up in the head. But as painful as the film is to watch, it is a masterful creation. An troupe of hard-to-embarrass actors gives one of the best ensemble performances of 1998. Solondz (whose debut Welcome to the Dollhouse was also quite good) proves he’s a talented director, even if he uses his talents to make you squirm. Solondz manages to weave together four or five story lines into a coherent, complete plot. Happiness is not for the sexually squeamish, but if you’re up for it, it’s a very well made movie and worth the rent.