Mr. Bean (Rowan Atkinson) is a well meaning, but hopelessly clumsy and destructive security guard at the National Gallery in London. When the board of directors for the gallery, who despise him for sleeping on the job, fail to fire him due to the chairman (Sir John Mills) threatening repercussions, they immediately decide on a different course of action and have him represent them during the transfer of the portrait Whistler's Mother to the Grierson Art Gallery in Los Angeles, following its purchase by philanthropist General Newton (Burt Reynolds) for $50 million. The curator of the Grierson, David Langley (Peter MacNicol), impressed with the false profile of "Dr. Bean", agrees to accommodate him at his house for two months, much to the chargrin of his wife Alison (Pamela Reed). After Bean causes some initial mishaps with the airport police and breaking a family heirloom, Alison leaves for her mother's house with son Kevin (Andrew Lawrence) and daughter Jennifer (Tricia Vessey).
David soon begins to question Bean's intelligence after he suggests they head to a theme park and causes mayhem with a ride, and later mess up a dinner with the gallery's owner, George Grierson (Harris Yulin). When David questioned Bean, he find out that Bean is not a doctor after all. His worst fears are soon realised when Bean accidentally ruins the painting shortly after it arrives. Fearing that he will lose his job and possibly face criminal charges for the damage, David becomes despondent and gets drunk, even though his family returns out of pity.
To save his career, Bean sneaks back into the gallery, distracts the guard by lacing his drink with laxatives, and replaces the ruined painting with a poster. The plan proves a success on the next day, fooling everyone including Newton. Bean nearly panics when he realises he has to make a speech, but gives an improvised, sentimental and deep monologue about the painting that wins the crowd's praise and approval.
Shortly after the speech, Bean is approached by Lieutenant Brutus, whom he crossed paths with, leaving David worried that he knows the truth about the priceless paintings mishap, only to learn from him that Jennifer was rushed to hospital after being involved in a motorcycle accident while with her boyfriend. Rushing to the hospital, David goes to be with his wife, leaving Bean to wander about the hospital's reception area and be mistaken for an actual doctor after picking up a stethoscope that had been dropped. Forced into a surgery room, he finds himself coming across Brutus on the operating table, having been shot while dealing with a mugging, whereupon he manages to recover the bullet in his body via an unorthodox procedure. Leaving the police officer to recover, Bean ends up being mistaken by David for a doctor, who begs for his help, leaving him alone with Jennifer whom he revives from a coma, after he accidentally shocks himself with a defibrillator and lands on her. Grateful for having his daughter back, David is surprised to find his saviour to be Bean, who asks to stay another week with him.
After spending quality time with David's family, Bean soon returns to the airport, thanking David for the time he spent, before returning to London. Once home, Bean admires his room, decorated with photographs of the Langley family, before taking a final look at the ruined, original Whistler's Mother he smuggled back with him, and then going to bed.
The film was criticised for breaking with the program's tradition of having Mr. Bean as the centre of attention, and for the alleged Americanisation required to sell it overseas (Bean also speaks intelligibly, albeit with apparent difficulty, as opposed to his frequent mumbling in the television show). However, the movie grossed over USD$250 million globally on a budget estimated at $18 million. In 2007, it was followed by a sequel, called Mr. Bean's Holiday.
The film holds a 42% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes with an average score of 5.3/10 based on 31 reviews. The film holds a score of 52 on Metacritic based on 20 reviews.
The film's original score was by Howard Goodall, who had also written the music for the television series, although the original Mr. Bean theme was not used. Other non-original songs were also featured, in particular The Beatles' "Yesterday" (sung by Wet Wet Wet).
The CD soundtrack features the OMC cover of I Love L.A. despite the original by Randy Newman being the version in the film. The album also features a song not used in the film, a cover of the Alice Cooper song "Elected" (from the Billion Dollar Babies album) performed by famed Iron Maiden lead singer and Heavy metal icon Bruce Dickinson which features sound dubs of Mr. Bean making campaign promises. This had been used for Comic Relief in 1992.
Boyzone also released a song for the film, entitled "Picture of You".
- "Picture Of You"
Performed by: Boyzone
- "I Get Around"
Performed by: The Beach Boys
- "Walking On Sunshine"
Performed by: Katrina And The Waves
Performed by: Wet Wet Wet
- "Running Back For More"
Performed by: Louise
- "That Kinda Guy"
Performed by: Thomas Jules-Stock
- "Give Me a Little More Time"
Performed by: Gabrielle
- "I Love L.A."
Performed by: OMC
- "He's A Rebel"
Performed by: Alisha's Attic
- "Stuck in the Middle with You"
Performed by: Susanna Hoffs
- "Art For Art's Sake"
Performed by: 10cc
- "Have Fun Go Mad"
Performed by: Blair
- "Can We Talk (Pure Radio Mix)"
Performed by: Code Red
- "Bean Theme (Mad Pianos)"
Performed by: Howard Goodall
Performed by: Mr. Bean and The Smear Campaign featuring Bruce Dickinson