Film packs theaters, but locals are critical

Rowan Atkinson’s quintessentially British laffer “Mr. Bean’s Holiday” is doing boffo biz across the world, but Brits themselves aren’t exactly toasting its success.

Nevermind that the Working Title pic banked $26.5 million in just 10 days in the U.K. and has packed plexes across Europe. Lots of locals simply loathe the way Bean’s bumbling, gawky chic has come to represent Britishness to the world.

Arthur Batchelor, one of the Royal Navy sailors captured by Iranian forces and held for 13 days, told the Mirror that while he was handcuffed, blindfolded and held in solitary confinement, what really irked him were his captors’ jibes that he looked like Mr Bean.

“All I could make out in their language were the words ‘Mr. Bean.’ They were laughing at me … making me feel about three inches tall,” he told the Mirror.

Others on the Bean-bashing bandwagon include novelist-journalist Will Self, who wrote, “Mr. Bean has always struck me as profoundly disturbing: a portrait of a mentally handicapped man struggling with the alienated, modern world.”

At least they can take comfort in the success of another bigscreen Brit:

Daniel Craig‘s testosterone-fueled interpretation of British superspy 007 in “Casino Royale” has generated more bucks at the U.K. box office than any other pic released in 2006.

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