I have very closely held beliefs about Alan Rickman, which the recent Harry Potter will likely not disprove. I haven’t seen it yet (but I have read all the books so go ahead and spoiler me).
The Alan Rickman Rule states-
“Any movie with Alan Rickman in it will be better than that same movie would have been if it had not also starred Alan Rickman.”
Note that I do not say it will be a GOOD movie, only that it will be better than it would have been otherwise. Let’s take a look at the movies I have seen which prove this rule….
Let’s start with the one that started this theory, “Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves”. It was so bad that the only way it was watchable at all was by covering the rest of the screen with your thumb in front of your face and only watching Morgan Freeman and Alan Rickman.
Then there are the “Harry Potter” movies, all of them basically being an excuse to showcase British acting talent, starring many fabulous people, but you have to admit that Alan Rickman steals scenes from all of them. Basically if the scene is not nailed down, he steals it. If the scene is nailed down he PRIES up the nails and STEALS IT.
In “Galaxy Quest” he also basically makes the film. Everyone else has a few funny moments, but everything about his character’s resigned self-hatred is hilarious.
Dogma would be a much, much worse movie without Alan Rickman. He actually manages to be a more interesting character than the fallen angels, which is not easy. As Milton fans will tell you, it is extremely difficult to upstage a fallen angel.
Sense and Sensibilty is a silly film, and I have always felt that Emma Thompson is really poorly cast in it. I love Austen and recently watched Pride and Prejudice (the BBC one) and Sense and Sensibility back to back (yes, I really did) and S&S suffers a lot by comparison. It is, however, totally worth it for the look Colonel Brandon gives Marianne when she is sick and he is halfway out the door but she calls him back to say thank you. That one look saves the entire film from being pretty useless.
The recent films of his I have seen- “Sweeney Todd”, where he has some difficulty with scene theiving due to Johnny Depp singing and slicing people’s heads off, and “Love, Actually”, where he has to compete with lovestruck Colin Firth and an adorable child, both have not been movies so bad that only Alan Rickman’s performance shines like a jewel in sewage. They are good movies. However, they are both better with him in them than without, so they do not disprove the rule.
I have not seen most of Alan Rickman’s movies, according to the IMDB. I felt like I had seen all of them but apparently he has been in A LOT of stuff. So if you have seen these movies and you feel able to tell me which ones prove, and which might mistakenly be thought to disprove (the Alan Rickman Rule is never wrong) the rule, please share. The following is a listing of other crazy films Alan Rickman has been in:
Snow Cake, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Nobel Son, The Search for John Gissing, Blow Dry, Play, Dark Harbor, Judas Kiss, The Winter Guest, Michael Collins, Close My Eyes, Truly Madly Deeply, January Man, Bob Roberts, Closet Land, Quigley Down Under, Mesmer and An Awfully Big Adventure
I am excluding anything he did for TV even though he apparently once played Rasputin, and any voice-over stuff even though he was in a film called “Help, I’m a Fish!”