Film review: Run for Your Wife (12A)


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The Independent Culture

Woah. Ray Cooney's decision to make a feature film at the age of 80 is plucky, to say the least. His 1983 farce, from which it is adapted, ran for nearly nine years in the West End and is still packing them in all over the world, but this transfer to the screen is pretty much a catastrophe.

It will be lucky to run for nine days. Perhaps never in the field of light entertainment have so many actors sacrificed so much dignity in the cause of so few jokes.

The story of a bigamous taxi driver trying to keep the other halves of his life secret from one another may once have had a comic spark, but with Danny Dyer in the lead, plus Denise Van Outen and Sarah Harding as the deceived spouses, the thing withers and dies.

As for that cast, well, they've all come out for Ray. In many cases you can understand why – Lionel Blair, Robin Askwith, Christopher Biggins, Su Pollard et al – but what has Judi Dench to gain from putting herself about as a bag lady?

From the look of it, Cooney hasn't been in a cinema for about 30 years. Actually, he doesn't seem to have been outside in 30 years. Hysterical, and not in a good way.