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A Complete History of my Sexual Failures
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A Complete History of my Sexual Failures – Review

WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

Chris (Waitt) is 30 and single. He has long, bedraggled hair, an unshaven face, holes in his jeans and just about the most sluggish personality ever brought to the screen – but he simply can’t work out why he’s single.
He sets off on a journey of self-discovery, to ask his ex-girlfriends what went wrong.
Some are more willing than others to share the benefits of their experiences with him.
Through a string of interviews with former lovers – and some new experiences he puts himself through – we find out perhaps more about Chris than we really need to – but it certainly explains why he’s still single.

WHAT’S IT LIKE?

This is one of the most unusual and original but simple concepts documentary film-making has seen in years and it’s certainly a thoroughly entertaining hour and a half.
Much of the humour comes from the way Chris is viewed by the women in his life, past and present – perhaps most tellingly, a mother with the patience of a saint.
But the film’s big problem from the point of view of being a documentary is that it’s about the least insightful piece of film-making in the history of cinema.
How many viewers will be surprised to learn that they might improve their chances of attracting women if they brush their hair and wear neater clothes? How many losers-in-love will be able to impress the ladies like never before as a result of turning up to dates as opposed to staying in bed saying “I can’t really be bothered to go out.”
There are no ground-breaking revelations here, which undermines the purpose of the film and you don’t feel that he’s learnt anything about himself – any improvements in his life by the end of the film are more by luck than judgment.
At times, the content of the film – whether thematically, verbally or visually – is certainly graphic enough to warrant its 18 certificate – and there are several moments where you really have to take a step back, breath deeply and wonder “is he for real – or is this whole exercise brimming with the kind of Louis Theroux-style faux-naivety that allows him to have a bit of a laugh at our expense?”
Ultimately, it’s fun – but pointless.

opens 27th June 2008

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