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Rabbit Fever is a mockumentary collection of sketches, each one of them
focussing on a female personal device that was made popular by a single
1998 episode of Sex and the City (the latter half of 1998, rather than
the early episodes which were all directed by women). From opening
statistics that make Rabbit Fever sound like a soft porn movie, we are
treated to a sea of predictable sketches with real and imaginary
characters in a world run amok with women's addiction to solitary
Men, as Germaine Greer rather arrogantly explains, have invented a gadget for women that makes men superfluous in the bedroom. The Rabbit Vibrator (which some statistics suggest accounts for about a quarter of all vibrator sales) is so called because of little rabbit-like long ears which vibrate to stimulate the clitoris, while rotating pearls inside the shaft stimulate the inside of the vagina. The film interviews characters that attend Rabbits Anonymous to help overcome their 'addiction', as well as known people such as Tom Conti posing as a professor or Richard Branson (amid scenes of rabbits being banned on aircraft) saying he would like to provide free rabbits to his first class air travel passengers and ultimately to all of them.
The main weakness of the film is that the idea is not enough to sustain 85 minutes of cinema, the sketches don't have the writing skills of say a Charlotte Church or Ricky Gervais to make them funny enough and, while it might make desultory late night TV, doesn't have a hook to get people to queue up in public at multiplexes to watch masturbation jokes.
Lines like, "It's been nearly a week since you used your rabbit - how are you coping?" wear rather thin after five minutes. The film is based on the idea that the mere mention of the word 'rabbit' will get a laugh . . . and another one, and another one. Frantic midnight drives to buy batteries might be amusing in real life, but here they look rather laborious, and the special emergency delivery service outstays its welcome.
Strangely the BBFC gave it an 18 certificate in spite of zero violence, hardly any explicit sex, and sexual references that are less 'perverted' than any late night comedy show. The company protested the decision, but the BBFC didn't budge. At first sight this seems overkill on their part and their consumer advice now simply says, "Contains frequent strong sex references." One might think that youngsters would find masturbation jokes funnier than the most desperate of hen night parties, and the topic one worthy of debate; but Rabbit Fever does not even have the saving grace of a balanced approach to its subject matter.
The best part is probably The Rabbit Song by Ruocco (who play a band called Thumper in the film). For those who have dozed off and woken up at the end credits, there is a bonus scene at the end of them to reassure them that they haven't missed anything.
It's very rare that a British film lives up to its billing or promise. How many times have we felt betrayed by the monikers "Best British Film of the Year" or "Funniest British Film of 2006". The answer? Countless times. It's more often than not a deflating experience watching British films, especially comedies. Well, feel betrayed no longer. It's time to reflate yourselves because finally we have a film that delivers what it says on the packet. This is a wonderfully conceived low-budget British comedy that takes a simple premise - are vibrators destructive to society? - and runs with it in a delightfully silly mockumentary style. Throw into the mixer the inventive and hilarious use of cameos from the likes of Tom Conti, Stephanie Powers, Tom Hollander, Germaine Greer, Richard Branson & William Boyd (to name but a few)- some "playing" themselves, others playing parts in the film - and you have a fresh, vibrant, colourful, unconventional & fast-paced film that leaves you laughing throughout and feeling good at the end. Isn't that what British comedies are supposed to be about?
A superb comedy! How refreshing to see a movie that's original (at
last, not a remake), inventive on every level and one that builds on
the subtleties of cinematic humour - particularly when it comes to
dealing with the delicate subject of sex toys. There were many moments
of side-splitting hilarity that, because they're delivered with such
comedic tenacity, leave you wanting more.
If you want to steal yourself away from the bad news now riddling the world, this is a must see! The writer hits the nail on the head. The fact that it's his first movie and was independently made on a tight budget can only give us faith. Again, how refreshing for the British movie industry. Inspiring stuff!
The acting throws up some wonderful performances - from the new faces to a collection of cameo appearances. Of the cameos, I don't spoil it by saying Germaine Greer, Tom Conti, Stefanie Powers and Sir Richard Branson inject a superb originality into proceedings that makes you sit up and wonder if you're actually watching a real-life documentary. Branson's role is particularly convincing. Of the new faces, my particular favourites were Sharon Gavin as the girlfriend of the Chelsea FC fanatic and the foppish Julian Rhind-Tutt as Rupert. Watch this space - they're going places. Every performance delivers though and the fact that you are watching a truly eclectic cast makes the experience yet more memorable.
Thank you for making me laugh. I look forward to the next. Some of the jokes still bring a smile to my face and it's been a week since the screening!
This movie might not be good enough for some professional critics,
however I promise you that after a long City week you'll enjoy Rabbit
As a matter of fact, in yesterday's premiere, I do not recall that anybody left the theatre before the end.... but I grant you that I was actually WATCHING the movie and enjoying it.
The only thing cheap about this production is indeed the budget...and with that kind of money they did miracles !!! So take your friends with you and go watch Rabbit Fever, it's unpretentious but hilarious and wicked.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
From this month's DVD Review (by Henry Yates): RABBIT FEVER - Not the
sequel to Watership Down...
Brought to the nation's attention via an early episode of Sex And The City, the dual-action, bunny-shaped vibrator known as the Rabbit is now apparently a mainstay in the handbags of Britain's independent women (supposedly selling in greater quantities last year than appliances such as the washing machine and the tumble dryer). As a phenomenon, of course, this has "quirky-but-quickly-forgotten British comedy" written all over it, and writer Stephen Raphael has obliged with a straight-faced mockumentary investigating the Rabbit and its fallout.
Rabbit Fever should be awful, really - it's a one-joke movie that polarises its audience (inevitably, men will laugh less than women) and is neither lewd enough for the hen parties nor subtle enough to take seriously. Yet there's something strangely endearing about director Ian Denyer's execution that not only keeps you loafing on the sofa for the duration but also prompts a handful of genuine chuckles.
Over a light-footed two hours - and a handful of deleted scenes that should have stayed that way - we're introduced to the men who manufacture the colourful dildos, the women whose lives revolve around them, and the bruised egos behind the pleasuring. Indeed, the funniest moment comes when sidelined husband (played by Green Wing's ever-reliable Julian Rhind-Tutt ) reacts to his wife's new obsession by boiling her Rabbit on the stove, a la Fatal Attraction.
The acting helps. Bar a typically wooden cameo appearance in which Richard Branson announces free Rabbits on all Virgin Atlantic flights, the cast are generally convincing enough to carry the scenarios and, at its best, this gives Rabbit Fever a feel that approaches vintage Brass Eye. It all adds up to a diverting effort that deserves to cause a certain amount of buzz. *** An endearing little comedy - get it in your handbag...
Don't expect to go and find The Chef d'Oeuvre of the 21st century, but very efficient if you want to relax a bit and forget your daily worries. It's basically a good laugh, precisely what a lot of other so-called big budget movies can't manage to buy. The best is probably to go and watch it with a group of friends. One good point also is most of the action takes place in London and we've seen too little of the City recently apart from other films like Match Point. Not everything is perfect in it, like for instance the numerous blonde actresses you kind of struggle to differentiate at times but don't forget it's a small budget movie
Rabbit Fever is one of those film oddities. It's an enjoyable 90
minutes, demands little of the viewer, and delivers as much, and on any
terrestrial television channel even in a prime time slot I think that
Rabbit Fever would be rather well received. Which makes me wonder why
it has been pushed into cinemas.
The movie is filmed in the style of a television documentary, and introduces us to 6 women who have am addictive relationship with the Rabbit Vibrator. The film is primarily focused on investigating a supposed addictive quality to the famous sex aid product. The narrative is 100% tongue in cheek throughout.
The storyline is strong, an introduction to some well rounded and likable characters, some enjoyable back-story, peripheral characters and situations develops into an engaging story, and pleasing conclusions. Sadly there's nothing that feels clever or new.
Rabbit Fever has some sharp moments, a few switches that hint at what the writers are capable of, and all credit to them it's not just 90 minutes of knob gags and innuendo, I could probably watch it with my mother. But there's a laziness about some of the scenes that holds it back, those moments went you are up for it, when you want it to be outrageous, and all you get is a dollop of sit-com.
I chuckled, I left the theatre feeling empathy for the characters, but I also left with the bitter thought that someone had taken a 90 minute reel of made for TV, light entertainment and tried to put it into national cinema.
I think Rabbit Fever achieves some of what it set out to do, it's a quirky subject, a rounded storyline, a well presented cast and a good diversion for 90 minutes. But there's nothing in this that can justify the extravagance of a movie theatre environment. Quite the opposite - a few commercial breaks would have given the viewer chance to grab a breath of life that Rabbit Fever seems to lack.
I saw this in a preview screening and have to say that this documentary
style movie is the biggest load of tripe I have ever seen.
Completely unfunny, low budget, boring, rubbish script, terrible acting - The entire audience (young and old) sat through the film comatose without laughing for most of it... there were literally only about 2 places you will laugh in the entire movie
Many people left halfway - Can't blame them... I stayed thinking that the film would pick up, however, it never did and I wish I'd left.
The humour was really lame and I am surprised that this ever made it on to the big screen. I am not someone who is offended by the adult content of this movie at all - It just wasn't funny. The people who made this movie really don't deserve your money, so please don't pay to see this film.
This isn't even funny enough to be shown on TV, let alone cinema...
I wanted to give it 0 out of 10, but the system won't allow it...
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