A Complete History of My Sexual Failures (18)
Friday 27 June 2008
This curious essay in self-mortification has its moments, though one quickly begins to suspect its trustworthiness as a documentary.
Shaggy-haired London layabout Chris Waitt – thirtyish, single, no visible means of support – ponders his most recent break-up and decides to make a film about his serial failures as a boyfriend.
Armed with the bumbling technique of Nick Broomfield, complete with hairy boom mic, he goes in search of his exes and interviews them to find out what went wrong. What he learns is far from flattering ("You were a jerk", etc) but instead of slinking away shame-faced, he cranks up the stunt by joining a dating website.
The central problem with Waitt's notional journey of discovery is that the question "Why do you think we split up?" is fundamentally dishonest: he knows why, and so do his exes.
Take your pick from arrested development, self-delusion, chronic lateness, inadequate personal hygiene and, latterly, erectile dysfunction. There are better solutions to this last, of course, than visiting an S&M dominatrix to get your bum whipped, or randomly propositioning women on the street after a Viagra binge, but by this stage his only imperative is to see what will get the biggest laugh.
He ends up looking exactly the sort of person his former girlfriends reckoned him to be, viz. a twerp. As in life, so in film: it's only funny for a while.
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