Love Honor And Obey

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Movie Review by Louise Charman

Starring: Jonny Lee Miller, Jude Law, Ray Winstone
Director: Dominic Anciano and Ray Burdis

A film involving karaoke, Viagra, silly costumes and loads of guns must have been a lot of fun to make. With a stellar British cast including Jude Law, Ray Winstone and Kathy Burke, LOVE, HONOUR AND OBEY brings all these elements into an unlikely – and at times rather self indulgent – comedy about a group of North London gangsters and their latest recruit.

Jonny (Jonny Lee Miller) works as a courier but is looking for a more profitable profession, so he approaches his best friend Jude (Jude Law) with an idea for stealing credit cards. Jude introduces him to his uncle, gangster boss Ray Kreed (Ray Winstone), and soon Jonny takes his place as one of Ray?s men. But life is pretty quiet in gangland – Ray is more concerned with his wedding plans to soap star Sadie (Sadie Frost) than in pulling off the next heist, and bouncers Burdis and Dom (Ray Burdis and Dominic Anciano) are trying to cure Burdis?s impotence. Impatient with the lack of action, Jonny pulls off a few jobs in secret at the expense of a South London gang. A violent feud ensues, until Ray and his opposite number decide to put a stop to Jonny?s shenanigans.

Writer-producer-director team Dominic Anciano and Ray Burdis acquired a reputation for improvisational comedy with their award winning BBC2 TV series OPERATION GOOD GUYS. A spoof documentary about a bunch of inept cops, it laid the foundations for their move into filmmaking. LOVE, HONOUR AND OBEY is their second feature, and was made using the same technique of letting the actors invent actions and dialogues within a narrative framework. While this achieves a certain spontaneity amongst the characters as they interact with each other, it does make for some rather obvious humour at times. The scene where the gangsters dress up as Arabs and giggle helplessly at their Viagra induced erections wouldn?t look out of place in a CARRY ON film. Had there been a script some of the more tiresome moments might have been ironed out before the cameras rolled. Jonny?s violence also sits a bit uneasily with the high camp comedy of the other members of the gang, and as the central character he isn?t very appealing.

Acting muscles might not get the greatest workout in this film, but it certainly looks like the cast had a good time making it and some of that rubs off in the final product. LOCK STOCK AND TWO SMOKING BARRELS it ain?t, but if you fancy seeing Denise Van Outen giving oral sex to a cucumber, this could be the movie for you.

3 out of 6 stars