Starring: Danny Dyer, Denise Van Outen, Sarah Harding
You may like this if you like: Childish humour, cringing at the deeply embarrassing actions of others, gouging your own eyes out, Danny Dyer’s ‘unique’ style of ‘acting’
Well, London cabbie John Smith (Dyer – the very definition of the word) lives a bigamist life married to two women: Michelle (Van Outen) in Stockwell and Stephanie (Harding) in Finsbury. As a taxi driver, he is able to fit them around his shifts. However, after attempting to save an old lady (Judi Dench – yes I am afraid so!) he is put in hospital and media and police attention mean he risks being discovered as a bigamist. He is forced to enlist the help of gullible neighbour Gary (Neil Morrissey) to stop both Stockwell and Finsbury police from uncovering the truth, and even more importantly, his two unsuspecting wives. Naturally, all kinds of farce and hilarity ensue.
I know this was originally a stage play (the director’s), and was by accounts very popular, but there are no words to describe just how horrifically embarrassing and unfunny Run for your Wife actually is. Being a theatre director he has somehow managed to persuade all his thespian chums (and others such as Cliff Richard) to turn up in cameos for just about long enough to point and laugh at them and lose any tiny bit of respect we had for them. Well, I say he persuaded, considering Run for your Wife had an estimated budget of £2.25million there may have been a little bribing involved. As the most expensive set piece is Neil Morrissey sitting on a chocolate cake the money must have gone somewhere. I must confess I did get some kind of sadistic enjoyment form shouting at the screen “Oh no, it is him/her”, but I also felt a cringe inducing embarrassment for them that gave me a tight pain in my stomach.
Talking of embarrassment, unbelievably Danny Dyer has somehow managed to sink to a new low. This is his first effort at being the leading man in a comedy, and he is not only complacent in his approach, but more of an irritating screen presence than ever. As I am writing this he has just been announced as being cast in Eastenders (a lame soap opera to those of you outside the UK) so at least his career is taking the direction it thoroughly deserves.
At least they have assembled a solid supporting cast? Well, not exactly. Neil Morrissey’s best work has been as the voice of Bob the Builder, Sarah Harding is a singer from a reality TV show winning girl group and though Denise Van Outen has acted on stage before, this is something else. To be fair to her, she gives it a good go (over exaggerated facial expressions and everything) but she just embarrasses herself.
Potentially, this perhaps could have been a cheeky, silly British farce but they have got everything wrong from cast to script. The ‘comedy’ is cheap, childish, sexist and homophobic. This film is an embarrassment to the British film industry and I am sure all involved have done their very best to forget they were ever in it. There are two positives to come from this film: Apparently it took around £600 on its day of release and has hardly sold any copies on DVD (thankfully no blu-ray release), so that is quite reassuring. Also it would seem to be the final nail in the coffin of Danny Dyer’s film career. “Every cloud…” and all that.
The worst British film since Kill Keith and maybe in the last decade; Run For Your Wife is a horrible and embarrassing experience to watch. Anyone reading this review that considered ever watching this, you owe me one!