By Heidi Sharpley.
Hmmm, where do I begin? Four Weddings and a Funeral, Love Actually, Notting Hill – all brilliant British rom/coms we’ve watched over and over again. Coincidently, all starring Hugh Grant. However, it is my humble opinion that not even Hugh Grant the floppy-haired prince of rom/com could save “I Am The Prize”.
It opens with a bunch of flowers being delivered to Laura in her office and quickly turns into a debacle as the flowers conceal a giant rainbow dildo that Laura and her best friend Martin think of creative ways to exchange to cause each other embarrassment, humiliation and supposedly give the audience some laughs. Instead, the scene is, over-extended, over-acted, over-the-top and under delivers. And basically that covers the overs and under of the next 1h and 34 minutes of “I am the Prize”
Martin is unlucky in love and Laura decides to help him find a girlfriend. After setting him up on failed blind dates, she pays for him to join a seminar group called Intimate Attraction Ultimate Domination. The presenter is misogyny personified but we’ve seen the plot before only better. Remember Tom Cruises’ character in Magnolia and his ridiculous ethos of respect the cock and how to fake like you are nice and caring? Not even slightly funny during these times of #metoo.
I cringed for the actors in this movie and identified with none of the characters. The script gave them no option but to over-act and it was like watching panto but without the audience participation and laughs. Awkward teenage humour really doesn’t work when delivered by adults with eloquent English accents. If some of the lines had been spoken by the desperate school boys from the “Inbetweeners” during their farcical plays for hooking up, I may have really laughed along.
This low budget movie cut too many corners. It lacked atmosphere. Every bar and restaurant scene had no other patrons. The token waiter delivers a plate of food in an empty restaurant while we observe dialogue exchanges. It was as captivating as watching a foreign language instructional video.
This is one of those movies that makes you appreciate a long afternoon stroll in the great outdoors or even curling up with a good book.
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