France never stood a chance. Mr Bean takes an ill-advised holiday... to the beach.
After winning a trip to the Riviera in a church lottery, he negotiates the Eurostar, pausing only to spill coffee on a businessman's laptop, then loses his return ticket, gets accused of child abduction, chokes on oysters and falls for actress Sabine (Emma de Caunes, daughter of Eurotrash host Antoine). Throw in a game performance by Willem Dafoe as Carson Clay, the puffed-up film director whose set is wrecked by Bean, et voilà, Monsieur Hulot for the 21st century.
British critics, perhaps mindful of Rowan Atkinson's other comic creations, were mostly underwhelmed by his big-screen antics as Mr Bean. What they failed to realise was that the rubbery brand of physical, largely silent comedy was never aimed at them. The first film was an international hit, earning over $250m. And its family-friendly sequel has topped $180m worldwide. Who's laughing now?