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A Complete History of My Sexual Failures (18)

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The View Review

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Review byMatthew Turner19/06/2008

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 89 mins

Frequently hilarious and occasionally cringingly painful, this is hugely entertaining throughout, although you do find yourself questioning how much of it is actually true.

What's it all about?
When scraggly independent filmmaker Chris Waitt gets dumped for the umpteenth time in a row, he resolves to discover exactly what it is that leads to all his relationships ending the same way. With a cameraman in tow, Chris decides to track down each of his ex-girlfriends and ask them why they dumped him.

Naturally, Chris isn't exactly prepared for what he finds, with several of his exes refusing to even speak to him (not a good sign) and others reacting with varying degrees of anger, incredulity or pity as they helpfully catalogue his self-absorption, chronic lateness and selfishness, together with a host of other personality defects. However, the film gains an unexpected dimension when Chris develops problems with sexual inadequacy, leading to an excruciating therapy session and an even more painful visit to a dominatrix before he decides to get back on the horse via internet dating.

The Good
To Waitt's credit, he offsets his whiny, neurotic behaviour (you instantly sympathise with his ex-girlfriends) with a nice line in self-deprecation and a disarming willingness to reveal everything (literally) on screen, no matter how humiliating. He even includes scenes where his long-suffering mother chastises him for some of his more embarrassing escapades (such as making a play for his first girlfriend's mother).

Needless to say, several sequences are hysterically funny and you find yourself warming to Chris and actually willing him to succeed, even if you also delight in him receiving his comeuppance.

The Bad
The only problem with the film is that several scenes are obviously staged, most notably a sequence in which he takes a Viagra overdose, gets horribly drunk and runs out into the street (with a cameraman in tow), asking random women to have sex with him.

Worth seeing?
Questions aside, A Complete History of My Sexual Failures is a hugely enjoyable documentary that actually has something to say, as well as delivering several huge laughs. Recommended.

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A Complete History of My Sexual Failures (18)
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Content updated: 26/09/2015 08:28

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