The DVD of “My Last Five Girlfriends” arrived a couple of days ago and I’ve now had a chance to watch it.
The movie probably wouldn’t be on my usual radar but what with fellow blogger Daniel being in it and all, it becomes essential viewing.
The cover-art suggests regular rom-com, but the film has some interesting surreal sections. Instead of direct action a la Hugh Grant movies or 'talk to camera' like High Fidelity, this one had whole sequences that were really the inside of someone’s head.
If anyone has seen “Pete meets Life”, which is showing on TV the moment, you’ll get an idea of the way that gameshow hosts can overlay commentary on the way someone is behaving.
In this movie there is also a complete tour of an imaginary fun-fair depicting the main character's fortunes as well as some 'confide to camera' moments. One could say all the bases have been covered.
The main subject of the piece is Duncan and the story revolves around the various mishaps of his last few relationships. I’m not sure if he was supposed to be likable but I must admit I struggled.
That didn’t seem to be a problem for the various girlfriends who would link with him in minutes before things progressively spiralled into various quirky behaviours and ultimate disaster.
In the midst of this Duncan is architecting a new building and it is as his accomplice that designer Daniel appears and hits it off with his girlfriend of the moment.
I’ll admit an inward “Yay!” when expansively thatched Daniel first appeared in an elevator and, although he was initially filmed deep in the scenes, he soon progressed to rooms and cocktails alone with the Gemma the girlfriend.
It was all proper acting and realistically delivered - I’ve seen Daniel acting funny (so to speak), but this required a much straighter style. I won’t spoil the ending, but let’s just say Daniel is a material element.
The director Julian Kemp packed in quite a few techniques along the 'time for a montage' line although I don’t think there were any spinning newspapers. I liked the sense of “London” it included, although the theme park was presumably elsewhere.
The interesting thing is that "My Last Five Girlfriends" seems to be becoming a slow-burn success. It’s moved from limited UK release to full US distribution as a DVD and just hit the UK shores in the same way. Heck - it can be seen on shelves in supermarkets and was reviewed in the Big Papers.
Let’s hope that it also gets another television exposure for Daniel, before the year is out!
Here's not the trailer, but the Film24 extract which opens the film clip with Daniel and one of the girlfriends...