Two recent comedies make their bargain-theater debuts this week -- though to the extent that they succeed, perhaps it's best to put "comedies" in quotes. ---
Arthur casts Russell Brand in a remake of the 1981 Dudley Moore vehicle about a perpetually tipsy layabout multimillion-heir who ponders giving up his fortune for the girl of his dreams (Greta Gerwig). There are plenty of funny lines in the script, but the casting simply feels off, with Brand less endearing than Moore and Helen Mirren less prickly in a gender-switch role as Arthur's faithful servant/babysitter. Comedy success is all about chemistry, and this one feels a few drops of something askew.
Your Highness, like Arthur, is also about a son of privilege in need of some growing up -- and the movie itself is even less successful. Danny McBride co-wrote and stars in this fantasy/comedy as a prince on a medieval-ish other world who joins his heroic older brother (James Franco) on a quest to retrieve a maiden (Zooey Deschanel) from an evil wizard. Kudos, I suppose, for attempting to combine stoner gags with swords & sorcery, but the jokes are embarrassingly lazy, generally of the kind that assumes dropping the word "fuck" into any given line inherently makes it a punch line. The only actual punching is what you might like to do to everyone involved in making it.