I've never seen such passionate divergence on such a trivial subject. The previous reviews of "Bean" come from two camps, each equally certain that they alone understand this film, either 5 stars or one with few in between. Well, let me add my own analysis to this over-analyzed subject. Yes, Bean is in California. This is the big screen and little English barber shop pantomimes, while perfect for the cozy confines of the British television series, wouldn't have translated to a full-length feature, especially one introducing Mr. Bean to many American viewers for the first time. And yes, Bean speaks. That was inevitable in the movie. There had to be some compromises (or call them modifications, depending upon which camp you're coming from). The most substantial change was to Bean's basic character. Let's face it. The Bean of the television series is not a nice person. He may not understand immediately every situation life throws him into, but as soon as he catches on he's up to some malicious mischief. I once heard his character accurately described as " a hideous cocktail of innocence and malevolence." This wouldn't have cut it in a Hollywood production. They didn't need to employ a troop of marketing consultants to study the demographics of their potential audience. It was the public at large, all ages and persuasions, not a core group of Bean cultists huddled around their tellys and giggling at the fate of Bean's latest victims. So, yes, they did soften Bean's basic instincts but try to get over it because here's the point: IT'S STILL FUNNY. Relax and enjoy; life's too short and any Bean makes it more enjoyable.