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A Complete History of My Sexual Failures (4 stars)

(18) 93min

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A Complete History of My Sexual Failures

DOCUMENTARY

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned – most people would regard this maxim as pretty true. Documentary filmmaker Chris Waitt, however, flies in the face of danger. After finding himself on the receiving end of a string of dumpings, he sets out to contact all his ex-girlfriends, to discover what makes him such a rubbish boyfriend. After a few false starts, doors being slammed in his face and threats from lawyers who would sue him if he went near certain exes ever again, Chris is off on his journey of self-discovery.

As with most journeys, Chris’ quest doesn’t lead the hapless, more masochistic than intrepid, documentary maker where he’d imagined. He winds up in Edinburgh, where his ex-fiancée lives with a new man, and a baby. There are plenty of straight answers to his ‘Why didn’t our relationship last?’ lost puppy dog style questions, followed by even more uncomfortable pauses as the women start to wonder just what the hell an ex from years ago is doing on their doorstep, unannounced, cameraman in tow.

The root of his problem appears to lie about halfway down his body. Women think men are lead by their penises, but it would seem that the female race also deems this organ rather essential, and Chris’ lack of ability or rather inability, forms the painfully funny middle section of this Warp X-funded documentary. A brisk pace, a desire to bare all (literally) and Chris’ very ordinary but anxious humanity makes this slightly insular premise engaging viewing.

Just as he hits rock bottom and believes the love of his life is in the rearview mirror of a god awful camper van (the filmmaker insists on driving about like a gap year student in Australia, and not the 30-year-old he is), life throws him a curve ball. We’re told without failure there can be no success; for Chris and for us, at least his sexual failures have instigated some measure of cinematic triumph.

Cameo, Edinburgh and selected cinemas from Fri 27 Jun.

A Complete History of My Sexual Failures

  • 4 stars
  • 2008
  • UK
  • 93 min
  • 18
  • Directed by: Chris Waitt
  • Cast: Alexandra Boyarskaya, Danielle McLeoad, Olivia Trench

Documentary filmmaker Waitt sets out to contact all of his ex-girlfriends, to discover what makes him such a rubbish boyfriend, leading to a trip to Edinburgh. A brisk pace, a desire to bare all (literally) and Chris' very ordinary but anxious humanity makes this slightly insular premise engaging viewing.

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