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The Most Unromantic Man In The World
cast: David Lumby, James Heath, Yvonne Tansley, Chizzy Akudolu, and John Evans

directors: Gratian Dimech, and James Heath

81 minutes (15) 2004
widescreen ratio 1.78:1
Odeon DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 1/10
reviewed by Tom Johnstone
The DVD cover boasts that The Most Unromantic Man In The World is "in the tradition of Little Britain, The Office and The League Of Gentleman." Alas, this does these three comedies a grave disservice. After all, they were funny. This by contrast is by turns crass, offensive, facetious, crashingly dull and relentlessly tedious.

The comparison with The Office no doubt derives from its use of a faux documentary style. But where Ricky Gervais and Steven Merchant used the mock docu-soap form explore the flaws and foibles of nuanced and believable characters, The Most Unromantic... substitutes leaden, moronic stereotypes in a film that purports to portray, in the manner of a wildlife documentary (oh, how original!), the winner of a survey or competition to discover 'the most unromantic man in the world'. The most notable divergence is that, though it appeared to be improvised, The Office was carefully scripted, whereas this effort clearly is not. At least, I assume it's improvised, because surely no one could ever have scripted such infantile fatuousness...

Maybe the improvised nature of the film wouldn't matter if the actors and direction were any good. After all, Mike Leigh seems to manage it. James Heath isn't too bad in the role of the fictional director of the pretend documentary, but he's not on for long, and its as the real writer and director of the film that he really makes a (bad) impression. David Lumby lumbers through the film in the central role of a gross male chauvinist with mullet and Def Leppard t-shirt, with such bloated, slack-jawed flatulence that you can't imagine him copping a snog with the winsome Doreen, let alone getting her to marry him, were she not such a pathetically masochistic doormat.

The DVD box boasts "the biggest pants since Bridget Jones," and indeed it is! In particular, Doreen's side of the story resembles some kind of sick Bridget Jones type rom-com, hence the promotional tagline "Britain's most twisted love story." Perhaps this is why the DVD cover advertises it as aping the galleries of grotesques and gross humour in Little Britain and The League Of Gentlemen. Now Little Britain doesn't always do it for me, but a film like this really makes me appreciate Matt Lucas and David Walliams. As for The League, certainly their take on life is delightfully twisted, but the difference between their work and this effort is that, while their subject matter can be grim and depressing, in the case of The Most Unromantic, the film itself is grim and depressing to watch. The other difference is that The League makes me laugh, often hysterically, whereas this just makes me hysterical with boredom. I would strongly recommend avoiding this DVD, if only to spare yourself the prospect of Lumby masturbating in front of a porn video...

The DVD special features boast footage of the open cast auditions. Is this is a bit like open cast mining? Scouring the surface of the Earth for the least talented people they could find, although Lee Oakes out of Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps is in it, apparently. Still, I'd be interested to see where they found David Lumby. There's also a theatrical trailer, which presents the frankly unlikely scenario of a theatrical release. It's straight to DVD, surely?

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