Films

A Complete History of my Sexual Failures

UK release date: 27 June 2008


cast list

Chris Waitt

directed by
Chris Waitt
Jennifer Aniston once commented that Brad Pitt seemed to have a sensitivity chip missing after he publicly left her to be with his co-star Angelina Jolie. She has clearly never met Chris Waitt. Pitt is in danger of looking like Mother Theresa next to the shambolic, emotionally-deficient serial ex-boyfriend that is Chris Waitt.

Realising that he has a habit of being repeatedly dumped, Waitt has set off on a journey of personal discovery by tracking down his exes and asking them in front of the camera what it was that made them break up with him.

The quest takes him through some emotionally painful meetings and several firm rejections as many of the women from his past slam the door literally and metaphorically in his face. It seems that there is a pattern with Waitts ex-girlfriends. They all hate him. One woman hates him so much that she refuses to be seen or heard on screen leading to a bizarre encounter with an automatic voice machine and a blanket.

There is clearly a lot of genuine anger flying around in these encounters, but Waitt seems to be singularly unaffected by the whole affair, proving perhaps why exactly it is that these women hate him quite so much. There is a lot of comedy drawn from these glimpses into the life of a man who has treated women so badly that they are no longer willing to look him in the eye, but Waitt fails to notice that there is also a rather large helping of offence served up in the mix as well.

Any woman in their right mind would surely hope that Waitt takes a running jump off the nearest bridge before he has the opportunity to hurt anyone else. Most of the time Waitt seems to be poking fun at the women that he has damaged during his life with very little thought for their feelings, which makes for uncomfortable complicit viewing. Its hardly clear what Waitt is hoping to achieve: when one poor soul agrees to be interviewed, Waitt cant even be bothered to prepare, scribbling a few pointless and monotonous questions into a notepad only to recycle these dull probes with the next victim.

As if all this harassment wasnt enough, Waitt also decides that for the purpose of entertainment it would be a good idea to become a sex pest. After accidentally overdosing on Viagra he runs around central London begging intimidated women to have sex with him. The mind boggles. The audience are offended. Its good entertainment but Im not sure it should be encouraged.

This is Waitt taking the stand-up comedy staple of self-effacement to its logical limit and there are some laugh-out-loud moments all readily accompanied by guilt. Perhaps allowing someone else to direct might have helped: several scenes are overly staged and blur the boundary between documentary and fiction. A lot doesnt gel at all and it is obvious that Waitt has re-ordered the interviews in order to fabricate a story and this is somewhat disorientating.

But despite the catalogue of reasons why you might hate the film, Waitts deer-in-the-headlights persona and apparent although scripted transformation following an emotional meeting with his ex-fiance all add up to create an entertaining documentary. But I am still not sure that any of it is very fair on the women that it portrays, or for that matter, on the audience.



No related posts found...