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When I recently checked the TV schedules and saw that this was on the menu I made sure that I programmed my video recorder, and I was not disappointed with the end product! Martin Clunes is the hapless groom who is spirited away to a remote Scottish island by his devious best mate, and has to find his way back to the church on time to tie the matrimonial knot. There are plenty of laughs along the way and Sylvia Syms is superb as Margaret, the domineering mother-in-law from hell, who detests the very sight of poor Neil (Clunes). Griff Rhys Jones is great as the pervy salesman, resplendent in leather/spiky bondage pants! The characterisation is spot-on throughout and the performances make for an entertaining romp, even though you have to suspend belief for some of the scenes (I'm sure a that a near-naked man would arouse more interest even at a remote Scottish airport, but that is a very minor point). Even Neil Morrissey, Clunes's sidekick from the hit comedy "Men Behaving Badly" gets in on the act as the wedding videographer. All in all, a very engaging British comedy which had me smiling and laughing out loud more than I could have previously imagined. (8/10)
This often overlooked gem from Martin Clunes is one of my favorite films of all time. The typical British comedy style is on show, with ecentric characters (bondage parties by Welsh door-to-door sales men) and a central character who you do geniunely feel sympathetic for in his fight to get to his wedding on time. However the highlight of the film is the beautiful Anna Chancellor as Carman, the goth pathologist who Gary picks up on his travels. With a perfect ending and tale of the underdog its defiantly worth renting or catching on TV.
This movie isn't half bad! It has a great cast including Martin Clunes, Michael Praed and Griff Rhys-Jones (!) There are plenty of funny scenes in this movie although at times they tend to clash with the more serious issues like death etc. Overall I think this is a top British film that has a lot going for it. There were some very funny moments throughout and if you're a fan of any of these actors, it's pretty doubtless that you'll enjoy this. 8/10
Definitely an under-rated comedy. But I also wonder if there's more going on than comedy? The whole structure - Neil's journey home with trials, tribulations and odd characters detaining him, ending with the confrontation with a rival suitor, seemed to allude strongly to the Odyssey. There were strange elements too: why the final flashback to the police station, with the pan back in 'tunnel vision' style from the dark fading scene, before we see another, unknown, man finding himself naked in Scotland (and presumably beginning a similar journey)? And there was the constant allusion to death: the old woman rowing Neil to the mainland; Carmen's speech about death being the natural state of things; Neil's confrontation with the gunman; and the autopsy dream sequence. I kept thinking of "Jacob's Ladder" (whose hero, like Neil, spent the film nursing a painful injury, had a hallucinatory sequence of being vivisected while denying he was dead, and ended up embracing death). Are the events in "Staggered" Neil's near-death fabulation?
This film is a very well made extension of the type of comedy seen in
the TV series Men Behaving Badly, albeit with a much better romance.
Martin Clunes does a fine job directing and acting. Why he's never done more directing is a mystery. Anna Chancellor is also great. Sadly Michael Praed demonstrates the talents that have kept him off the TV for the best part of a decade - he's as stiff as a tailor's dummy.
The film is very funny with an adequate (though not brilliant) plot to hold together the increasingly bizarre episodes that happen to Neil as he finds his way back through the weirdness of modern Britain.
Recommended to anyone who likes adult comedy and who wants a different level of entertainment than American Pie and its like.
A very good effort by Martin Clunes that has been overlooked by a lot of people. Brilliant characterisation and plot, the only drawback was the rather slow plot development at the start. The chemistry between Neil and Carmen was electric. The hope is there will be a sequel
I saw this several times when it first came out and shortly afterwards on DVD (rental), then couldn't find it on DVD for years to rent or to buy. I have just purchased my first DVD for over ten years simply to own this classic film again. They don't make them like this any more, unfortunately. This movie is one of the very few out there that you can't find anywhere online, on the yohoho sites for example. I can't think why that is because there are many thousands of movies out there that i would definitely consider to be utter drek compared to this movie. Twilight and High school musical are prime examples, i had the misfortune to have these thrust upon me when spending time with an ex-girlfriend's kids - i wish i could remove the damaged portion of my brain that was exposed to that drivel. Anyway, Staggered is awesome.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Not as clever as it thinks it is.Nor as funny,unfortunately.Mr Clunes is amiable enough,but it takes more than amiability to carry a whole movie.The best performance by far is from Miss Sylvia Sims as his prospective mother - in - law,oozing with contempt for his,well,amiability,I suppose.He certainly seems to have little enough going for him,until you discover that his 27 year old fiancée must marry by her 28th birthday in order to inherit a £750,000 fortune,a small fact she has kept from him but not her ex and Clunes's best friend and boss,Mr M.Praed. Marooned by Praed on a Scottish island after his stag night,Clunes must find his way home in time for the wedding a few days later. His Odyssey takes him to a police station in Newcastle where he is brutalised by a detective with a Brummy accent(before Geordie became fashionable),a hospital where Miss A.Chancellor's unlikely pathologist for some reason falls in love with him,and the actual wedding where his erstwhile best friend has ousted him in his fiancée's affections. Told in a somewhat arty - crafty style with Clunes as his own videoed Greek Chorus,"Staggered" - stripped of it's pretensions,might have made an amusing 30 minute TV comedy,unfortunately,laden with "symbolism" and trying to prove how clever it is has merely made it rather tedious. Griff Rhys Jones,by the way,is terrible.
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