Oh god. Oh my god. My eyes. My brain. My eyes. I expected Run For Your Wife to be bad (you'll struggle to find a kind word said about it anywhere and the limited cinema screening was a financial embarrassment) but I didn't expect it to be THIS bad. It's ONLY saved from the lowest score possible by the many fleeting cameo appearances from numerous older stars of stage and screen, which allowed me to distract myself from the pain by spotting people and trying to remember what they were best known for. Rolf Harris, Barry Cryer, Cliff Richard, Vicki Michelle, Robin Askwith, Judi Dench (how could you?) and many others turn up for a few seconds to join in with the fun, although I use the word in its loosest sense.
The plot concerns cheeky, lovable taxi driver (John Smith, played by Danny Dyer) getting hit on the head as he helps an old woman keep her handbag away from some thieves, and ending up in hospital. This makes his wife (Denise Van Outen) very worried when she realises that he didn't make it home from his shift. It also makes his other wife (Sarah Harding) very worried when she realises that he hasn't made it home from his shift. Yes, John has two wives. And now he has to do whatever it takes to stop them from finding out about each other. He ropes in his mate (Neil Morrissey) to help him, as the police want some questions answered and the local press want to do an interview with such a have-a-go hero.
This is truly awful stuff. I'm pretty sure that Danny Dyer sold his last ounce of shame about five years ago, probably in exchange for a packet of baking soda that someone convinced him was top-grade cocaine, but the other members of the cast might want to buy up every last copy of this DVD so that nobody else ever sees it. Van Outen is, surely, capable of much better than the shrill performance that she gives here, accompanied by plenty of horrible mugging. Morrissey has done plenty of comedy in his past, and has been very good at it, so he should have known better. Sarah Harding gets a pass, I guess, as the newcomer to the acting world, but her awful performance makes me hope that she doesn't try her hand at comedy again, ever. And Ben Cartwright, as the policeman trying to unravel the messy situation, struggles to get out of the whole thing with his dignity intact. He fails, but he at least tries harder than anyone else. Kellie Shirley really needs to start over, as I think she has the potential to be much better, and the least said about the stereotypes portrayed by Christopher Biggins and Lionel Blair the better.
Written and co-directed by Ray Cooney (John Luton is the other credited director), based on his stage play, this is a relic of a bygone age that hasn't been updated or improved for modern audiences, as far as I can tell. It's cringe-inducing, at best, and downright insulting on many occasions. None of the women are capable of more than panicking at the most minor mishap, or being duped by their beloved husband, and I already mentioned the characters portrayed by Biggins and Blair.
Awful, awful, awful. I don't condone violence but advise that if you ever see anyone about to buy this then you slap them in the face, just to bring them back to their senses. It's the worst British film that I've seen in decades, and the worst Danny Dyer film by far. And THAT is saying something.
See the pain I endure for this blog? And I do it all for free. But every copy of my book sold gets a few pounds in my pocket, and gets you a good read (if I say so myself).
The UK version can be bought here - http://www.amazon.co.uk/TJs-Ramshackle-Movie-Guide-Reviews-ebook/dp/B00J9PLT6Q/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1395945647&sr=1-3&keywords=movie+guide
And American folks can buy it here - http://www.amazon.com/TJs-Ramshackle-Movie-Guide-Reviews-ebook/dp/B00J9PLT6Q/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1395945752&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=TJs+ramshackle+mov
As much as I love the rest of the world, I can't keep up with all of the different links in different territories, but trust me when I say that it should be there on your local Amazon.