Thursday, 24 October 2013

Review: Run For Your Wife (2012) Danny Dyer in Ray Clooney farce.

run for your wife film danny dyer
 From time to time, there's a film that comes along that is almost universally panned. Often before it's even been seen. Run For Your Wife is one such film. Adapted from the hit 80s Ray Cooney stage farce, this modern version was dead in the water almost as soon as it was announced. Which is a shame, as it's not half as bad as people have made out. It's not great by any stretch of the imagination, but it's still much better than Keith Lemon - The Movie.
run for your wife
run for your wife rolf harris cliff richardrun for your wife judy dench

The film tells the story of a London cabbie, John Smith (Danny Dyer) who helps out an old woman getting mugged (played by Dame Judy Dench, one of many gimmick cameos) and receives a bump on the noggin for his trouble. It's when he wakes in hospital, and is returned to his home his woes really start. As, it turns out, our chirpy Cockney is actually a bigamist, who divides his time between his two wives (Denise Van Outon and Sarah Harding). So, as could be expected, "hilarity" ensues as he tries to keep the two Mrs Smiths from finding out, as well as the police who begin to smell a rat.. He ropes in his neighbour, Gary (Neil Morrissey, playing the usual gormless-but-lovable twerp he's famous for) to help in his frantic struggle to sort out his tangled web of deceit. His neighbours at his other flat, a gay couple played by Christopher Biggins and Lionel Blair, play a large part in the fun later on.

run for your wife denise van ootenrun for your wife neil morrissey danny dyer
run for your wife lionel blairrun for your wife maureen lipman june whitfield
The story, like the play from which it originates is so very 1980s. Not a bad thing, in principal, except - like so many things we used to laugh at without thinking - times have moved on. Subjects like bigamy are no longer a laughing matter really. A little like the St Trinians looking sexy in school uniforms, we are a little uncomfortable laughing the way we did. They are still school girls (despite often being played by actresses who looked in their 30s). Bigamy is still a crime (not to mention the deceit involved). So that the film version of the play got made at all is a surprise. The film is directed by Cooney (and John Luton, who wrote the 2009 Dyer film Dead Man Running) Despite it's very British tradition, the majority of the world has appeared to moved on from the world of farce. (Oh, not me, by the way - I will still carry on Carrying On with my Askwith inspired movie choices for many years). Part of me thinks Cooney would have been better updating his other, earlier farce Not Now, Darling, which was successfully made into a film in 1973, and still stands up today. Re-jig some of the characters to be more modern and it could be a winner.
run for your wife robin askwith
run for your wife derek griffiths
Which brings us to the real reason the film seems to exist. To shoe-horn as many "oh it's him/her" cameos into the film as possible. While it's great to see the likes of Robin Askwith (yes, he is the star of the film to me), Sir Cliff Richard, Dench, Derek Griffiths, Jacki Piper, Brian Murphy, Linda Hayden, Donald Sinden, Mark Wingett, Francis Matthews, Derren Nesbitt, Rolf Harris, and many many more on screen for a split second, it's also a sobering, sad thought that this was the last screen appearance for Richard Briers, Frank Thornton and Bill Pertwee.
bill pertwee frank thornton run for your wife
As mentioned earlier, the film itself is no where near as bad as it has been made out. It's not great, but it's amusing and passes the time in a mildly entertaining fashion. While some pundits rubbed their hands with glee at the "failure" of the film (depending on which source you read it took anything between £600 and £772 at the box office, which didn't take into account that it only opened on about 10 cinemas nationwide, for literally one day!). They (well some, you know who they are) took it as yet another cue to bash Dyer. Let's face it, the guy's a character. And he can actually act, which is more than can be said for some "stars" nowadays.
run for your wife prunella scales timothy westrun for your wife
As it is, the film isn't going to run like the stage play did. Times have changed, even if there are some of us who wish it hadn't. Whether the film finds its audience on wet Sunday Summer afternoon TV screenings like the Carry On films have remains to be seen. I'm guessing it won't, but it doesn't deserve the panning it has had. Not when there are much worse films being forced on the funny bones of the public.
run for your wife lionel blair christopher bigginsrun for your wife barry cryer rolf harris cliff richard
Worth watching if only to make a drinking game of spotting the cameos. You'll be legless within 30 minutes.
4 out of 10