So Nat (Rose Byrne) and Josh (Rafe Spall) are two opposites who fell in love, got married really quickly and no-on thinks they will last it out. Then there is the other love interests… Chloe (Anna Faris), a charity worker, the ex of Josh, who is a bit dumpy (well, she doesn’t style her hair too much and wears normal clothes, so she must be totally dumpy, yeah?) and then there is Guy (Simon Baker), a rich man whose account Nat is trying to get at work, and who just keeps sleazing on to her even whilst making joke about harassment.
It’s bound to go badly. And really, there are just so many shit things about this film. There is the fact that the married couple only seem to want to stay together to prove other people wrong or to not be the one who walks away, whilst both of them are lusting after other people. And it really is a pretty shit concept. And every time I thought it might go well, it went bad. It’s just not great, but a few things worked….
Okay the things that worked were really just the other people: the always wonderful Minnie Driver, the fabulous Daisy Haggard, and one of my favourite performers ever, the brilliant Olivia Colman.
Sacha Baron Cohen is Aladeen, dictator of a small, fictional country in Northern Africa. He ends up in the US, where he is ousted by his brother (played by Ben Kingsley… seeing him in this makes me feel like the great have fallen) and an idiot body double. He has to rely on the kindness of a man he had executed (don’t ask) and a girl who is smart enough to have a large ecologically friendly co-op in New York yet is too stupid to run in efficiently or to tell this offensive creep to bugger off (Anna Ferris as the extremely offensive to all women character, Zoey).
Yup. I didn’t like it. I have memories of Ali G being an amazing television show, of going to the film of Borat and laughing (although I walked out of the cinema feeling that I’d watched something pretty crappy), but I have avoided Cohen’s more recent work. I watched this because I’d heard the review on Plato’s Cave (this is a RRR film criticism podcast which I thoroughly enjoy. I don’t always agree; sometimes I vehemently disagree, but I always like what they have to say) and Thomas Caldwell had said some surprisingly good things about it.
Perhaps I’m over poo, torture and rape jokes. Perhaps I just like humour that is clever (though I do love slapstick). Whatever. The Dictator did not even raise a smile from me.