movie film review | chris tookey

Sex Lives of the Potato Men

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  Sex Lives of the Potato Men Review
Tookey's Rating
1 /10
Average Rating
1.10 /10
Johnny Vegas , Mackenzie Crook , Mark Gatiss
Full Cast >

Directed by: Andy Humphries
Written by: Andy Humphries

Released: 2004
Genre: WORST
Origin: GB
Colour: C
Length: 82

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Clunkily directed, gross-out blue-collar comedy is simply a smuttier version of '70s Britcoms like Confessions of a Window Cleaner. Plotless pic about a bunch of potato delivery men looking to get laid banners its lavatory humor with disarming glee but is torpedoed by first-time writer-director Andy Humphries' flat helming and episodic script.
(Derek Elley, Variety)
A masterclass in film-making ineptitude, a squalid waste of lottery money, and an inexcusable gaffe by the British Film Council.
(James Christopher, Times)
Johnny Vegas and Mackenzie Crook star in this smut for morons, part-funded by your and my lottery money. The government is being accused of brutal philistinism in withdrawing tax help from British film. Judged by movies like this, they are merely handing extra bullets to a man determined to blow his brains out.
(Nigel Andrews, Financial Times)
Robert Jones deserves to be tarred and feathered. This is public money heís squandering.
(Anthony Quinn, Independent)
Youíd probably have more fun and laughs by going into your kitchen and just staring at an ordinary potato.
(Kevin OíSullivan, Mirror)
The film feels like an endless episode of a seriously bad sitcom as everyone pauses for a laugh track, only to be greeted by the deafening silence of the cinema, and maybe a few groans of disgust or boredom. As it continues, it feels far longer than a mere 83 minutes. The film drains whatever good will you might have had in the silly early scenes with an unbelievably unfunny series of Ďclimaxesí that don't work at all. It's also surprisingly mean-spirited about everything and everyone in it. And when the story stumbles to its conclusion, you'll feel like you need a bath. All of this is a terrible shame, since a revival of this rowdy filmmaking style would be more than welcome. But the filmmakers need to remember that sex is fun, not disgusting. And that a comedy needs to actually make us laugh.
(Rich Cline, ViewLondon)
The mind boggles as to how this movie actually got made. Not only is it truly revolting in parts (the fish paste and jam sandwich Ďgagí) and unnecessarily obscene, it is also woefully written, totally charmless and utterly devoid of any laughs (though I did enjoy Daveís obsession with parking while heís supposed to be having a threesome). Sex Lives Of The Potato Men is genuinely appalling. In every department.
(Johnny Vaughan, Sun)
Given the collective talents of lead actors Vegas and Crook, playing two potato deliverers with nothing more on their mind that getting laid, it's staggering just how woefully unfunny this wretched Britcom is. There's no story or development to speak of, just a random collection of repellent sexual scenarios - suburban group sex and sadomasochism being possibly the only ones that can be commented on here. A supporting cast of the best of British TV talent from shows such as The Office and League of Gentlemen give some hope that a laugh can not be too far away, but sadly all hopes are dashed as yet another riff on cunnilingus rears its ugly head. With an apparent mission to make the ultimate gross-out comedy, first-time director Andy Humphries has instead made something merely gross, which resembles a pilot episode of an uninspired sitcom that somebody neglected to edit.
In the light of this British-made movie, funded by the UK Film Council, the urgent debate for our native film industry seems to me to be as follows: should we put the gun barrel to our temples, or in our mouths for a cleaner kill? ... Itís a film which isnít in the slightest bit funny or sexy, and is deeply depressing.
(Peter Bradshaw, Guardian)
This vile, grubby little film must surely be the yearís worst... The crude, desperately unfunny script is the cinematic equivalent of untreated sewage. Disappointingly, ?939,000 of public money from the British Film Councilís Premiere Fund was invested in the film; the fundís head, Robert Jones, serves as its executive producer. On this evidence, Iíd say Mr Jones needs to start clearing his desk.
(David Gritten, Daily Telegraph)
According to its writer-director Andy Humphries, Sex Lives Of The Potato Men is Dumb And Dumber meets Confessions Of A Window Cleaner. It sounds awful, and it is. Aimlessly charting the misadventures of four delivery men and their never-ending quest to sow their oats, it's as subtle as a copy of Viz and as witty as a graffiti-strewn toilet. Even a cast culled from popular BBC sitcoms can't raise a titter in a farce so relentlessly coarse it makes Bernard Manning look like Oscar Wilde.
(Neil Smith, BBCi)
Mirthless, worthless, toothless, useless.
(Will Self, Evening Standard)
At 83 minutes, itís also roughly 90 minutes too long.
(Richard Bacon, People)
This is one sick disgusting unfunny movie.
(Nitro Movies)
Supremely stupid, sleazy and sordid.
(Alan Frank, Daily Star)
State cash - even if itís gamblersí losings rather than tax revenue - has no place in an overwhelmingly commercial art form. If the government really wants to encourage small, risky British films, it can do so through supporting the BBC or Channel 4, or through tax incentives of the kind that, with a timing as unfortunate as the acting in Sex Lives of the Potato Men, was withdrawn this week.
(Mark Lawson, Guardian)
This is puerile smut of the very worst kind. It makes American Pie and its gross-out imitators seem like the height of sophistication. Often embarrassing and frequently disgusting, it pushes its filthy brand of humour beyond the point of no return. There's no need to take the moral high ground on this movie: it isn't big, it isn't clever and it just isn't funny. Writing and directing his first feature film, Andy Humphries is sorely disillusioned if he thinks this is what people will pay good money to see... If you've got a bunch of foul-mouthed mates waiting for you down the pub, go and join them instead, because they're bound to crack better gags and make deeper observations on the ways of the world... A walking, talking Viz cartoon, Sex Lives Of The Potato Men should never have been made. Lads' culture has sunk to new depths.
(Alan Morrison, Daily Record)
Drably unfunny.
(Edward Porter, Sunday Times)
A charm-free, humour-free zone.
(Matthew Bond, Mail on Sunday)
Itís hard to know what to say to this - itís like finding the right words at a nasty accident... Less a film than an appetite suppressant.
(Catherine Shoard, Sunday Telegraph)
About as funny as being stabbed repeatedly in the face with a bread knife... How on earth Humphries managed to convince such an impressive cast to take part in his truly awful film should go down as one of the biggest mysteries in Brit flick history. The guy must have had one Helluva lot of favours to call in. Either that or a remarkable array of incriminating photographs.
(Gary Panton, Movie Gazette)
Writer-director Andy Humphries is clearly hoping his gormless heroes will prove endearing, but the characterisation is so one-note it's hard not to find them as repulsive at the end as at the beginning. If the women who suffer their inept advances had been in any way sympathetic, there might just have been something to hold onto. But from Julia Davis' faeces-spraying psychopath to Robbins' ageing slapper, the female roles are hardly more than cartoonish caricatures, as single-minded in their pursuit of gratification as the moronic blokes they put out for... This nasty little sex farce - inexplicably co-funded by the UK Film Council - has all the appeal of a double dose of the clap.
It couldn't be any more joyless really. The cast don't seem to understand that the film is a stinker, so they play their moronic characters fairly straight, almost pausing for the laughter as if it's a sketch show. But it's just an inept, mean-spirited movie (it's cruel to men and women in equal measure). And when it finally ends, after the longest 83 minutes of your life, you'll feel like you need a bath.
(Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall)
This is, I hope, the only movie that has shown, or will ever show, Johnny Vegas, topless, in not one, but two gangbang scenes.
(Ian Waldron-Mantgani, The UK Critic)

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