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I was looking forward to this film, because I'm a big fan of Tom Sharpe's
novels. At the same time I was rather apprehensive as well. This is a
comedy, and comedy movies are made these days with a family audience in
mind. Tom Sharpe's novel Wilt certainly does not fit into this bracket
so I expected some dreaded compromises.
Inevitably, they came. Of course, the film still has a US R-rating and a UK 15 rating, but this has more to do with the intrinsic adult nature of the basic material than with the film makers' attempts to preserve the spirit of the novel. The whole thing still felt much too sanitised, too toned down, too understated. Part of the problem might have been that filming faithfully the original story would have made some middle-aged established actors and actresses occasionally prance around in the buff, simulate drug abuse, and molest each other, but the story really needed a higher dosage of excessiveness.
I saw the movie before I read the book and it urged me to get a hold of it. The movie is very true to the book - naturally it's unfair to compare the two media, but the script writers did a splendid job. I laughed from beginning to end. Another plus is the choice of actors. Griff Rhys Jones is perfect in the title role and Mel Smith is a tailor made Flynt. I really loved this movie and it made me a BIG Tom Sharpe Fan - I've got all his books now. If you like British comedy you have to see this. You won't see Hollywood produce a "Wilt"!
The first time I saw Wilt was in the cinema and laughed so hard that had
tears in my eyes.
I think I most enjoy this movie because it reminds me of the classic
humour, unfortunately not too frequent nowadays, at least as far as I am
concerned. Some years later I was luckily enough to be able to tape it from
TV and laughs were back.
I haven't seen any people who act in this film elsewhere, but that does not discourage me from being fond of their job. The man who plays the hapless Wilt is kind of funny, and inspector Flint's character is hilarious as well. Eva Wilt is a complete puppet at Sally's will, who turns out to be a bitch/slut.
The entire script is hysterical. My favorite parts are those in Sally's party, when she ties Wilt to that inflatable dolly and both appear in the main lounge, causing the dj to announce there is a wedding engagement coming. Also when Wilt talks the police into believing he has turned his wife's corpse to pieces of meat that have been put into cans of food and panic takes them over, prompting them to start checking the cans. How about when he is driving home from the party and the dolly surfaces behind in? Then he stops and goes insane by stabbing the dolly yelling something like "Explode, cow!".
As it's been pointed above, an hysterical movie. Pick it if you wanna pass one and a half hours of nonstop fun. Ten out of ten.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie is an excellent tale of Henry Wilt and his falling in with the police throughout the movie, I first heard of this movie when I was looking for Tom Sharpe books over the internet I think the movie is a brilliant piece of work in expressing the deep subconscious of a man pushed to the edge by a dominating wife a dead end job and a life that seems to be moving backwards instead of forwards, I have not read the book but I hear it is a fantastic novel and the movie has done it proud. There are some hilarious scenes one in particular Henry Wilt is in the police station facing charges of murdering his wife and uses a monitored phone call talking to the answering machine pretending its his wife to try to get out of trouble then we see the other side the answer machine where three police officers stand around conducting a search staring at the machine, its funny trust me. I don't think there is anything that unsuitable in the movie there are slight sexual references and some bad language but on the whole the movie is very tame
I remember looking forward to this just before it came out at the cinema. Great book, great comedy duo and the ever reliable Alison Steadman - what could possibly go wrong! Sadly, an hilarious book doesn't automatically make an hilarious film. As the film is quite faithful to the book its hard to spot it's failings - I wonder if it would have worked better if Mel Smith & Griff Rhys Jones' roles had been reversed? Like the early Morecambe & Wise films, this film demonstrates that without the right material, great comic talent can be left floundering. Toss in the bland 80s soundtrack, very lack lustre direction and adult humour which comes across more Harrison Marks skin-flick than slapstick and this is the result.
There are usually very good reasons why films like this one do poorly
at the box office.
usual reason is the fact that they are not funny, being funny, is a very important prerequisite for a comedy films. The story by Mr Sharp, is funny, very funny, and the characters, as conceived by him, are crafted in the great comedy tradition. So why was the film very unfunny and not successful as a comedy film? Mr Smith and Mr Rhys Jones are tried and proved comedians, who have been very funny in the past, and since. The problem is that like the great Morecambe and Wise before them, they were not comedic actors, they failed to understand that the character in a comedy story has his own reasons for doing what he does, his own motivation and his own personal set of human feelings and desires. the comedic actor, unlike the comedian, does not have to make the character funny, he/she must play them out with love and respect for their foibles, which lead them constantly into scenes of unintentionally comic behaviour.
With Wilt, in the case of Mr Rhys Jones's character, the audience is often left asking itself why, and Mr Smith played the policeman without ever giving credence to how on earth he might have got to such a rank in the first place.
But I didn't. Watching it again 23 years after release ( omg where did that time go ! ) - I loved the book and the film is good at matching the general rule of not being as good as the book. But this time I've watched it with the book as a distant memory and I have to say I enjoyed the film . OK things look a bit dated and the 80s fashion looks laughable but that just adds to the humour . My only disappointment and wish is that they made the remaining WILT books into films too . The casting of Smith & Jones into the lead male roles is genius and Alison Steadman plays the overbearing wife to a 't' . Watch it with LOW expectations and you'll enjoy it :) -Pad.A
Okay, so 'classic' may be a little overstating 'Wilt,' but, whenever
British comedy films are mentioned, it never even gets a look in, which
I feel is a little unfair. Yes, there are no real 'stars' in the film
to broaden its appeal. Mel Smith and Griff Rhys Jones may be easily
recognisable faces on UK TV, but it's unlikely anyone will be too
familiar with their work overseas.
Perhaps that's 'Wilt's' major charm it's a very British film. And I don't mean the weird portrayal of British life that Richard Curtis seems to want to sell the worldwide audiences. The plot is simple: Jones plays the titular character, Mr Wilt, who, after years of living with his overbearing wife, finds she's disappeared. He doesn't seem that bothered, whereas dopey local detective, played by Mel Smith, feels the need to prove that Wilt is more murderer than he seems.
There may be only a few 'laugh out loud' moments in the film, but that doesn't mean that you won't smile. The humour is, largely, subtle and understated, as are the performances. Perhaps the best way to enjoy the film is to lower your expectations slightly. Don't go thinking it's going to be a massively laugh-a-minute ride. Its charm is its poignancy and the feeling of overall sadness about a group of people who, by and large, aren't really happy with their lives, no matter how hard they pretend to be.
If you want something with plenty of poignant, subtle black humour, you may want to give this a try. I'm guessing it'll only appeal to us Brits, but I'm hoping it'll also strike a chord with other nationalities, too.
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