My Last Five Girlfriends

Movie Review by Susan Hodgetts

Starring: Brendan Patricks, Naomie Harris, Kelly Adams, Jane March, Cecile Cassel

Director: Julian Kemp

Loosely adapted from philosopher Alain De Botton’s Essays on Love, this refreshingly creative rom-com is not as heavy as its source material might suggest. Familiar, yet with a few funny and original moments, it won’t leave a lasting impression but it’s an undemanding 90 minutes.

Thirty-something Architect Duncan (Brendan Patricks) feels (and behaves) like a complete loser when it comes to love. Distraught after splitting with his latest girlfriend, he takes a look back at the disaster of all five of his relationships, via a metaphorical terrain of a giant fairground, with each of his girlfriends symbolised by a different theme park ride.

The film is full of slightly mindless one-scene cameos such as Michael Sheen as a gum-chewing New York-style cop and Mark Benton as a guy in the queue at the fairground, which seem to be a bit of a waste of more heavyweight talent in a film that’s for the most part a little insubstantial. It’s not until Duncan’s last relationship, with Gemma (Naomie Harris) that anything of consequence seems to surface. No depth or insight is really given into the psyche of Duncan, a character which the film sometimes seems as if it is pressing hard to make you like, but ultimately offering a one-dimensionality which leaves him looking a bit pathetic. With questions seeming to remain unanswered of its main protagonist, if anything, perhaps the larger notion of love itself is treated too trivially.

However this is the most inventive rom-com I’ve seen in a while and an affable evening’s entertainment.

3 out of 6 stars

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