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A Complete History of My Sexual Failures (2008)

Unrated | | Documentary, Comedy | 27 June 2008 (UK)
A humorous look at life for a loser in love.

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1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Danielle McLeod ...
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Olivia Trench ...
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Independent filmmaker Chris Waitt attempts to interview his ex-girlfriends to find out why they dumped him. This revealing and humorous documentary sees the slacker filmmaker go on a sexual and emotional odyssey in a desperate quest to solve his innumerable problems. Written by Anonymous

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27 June 2008 (UK)  »

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Complete History  »

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johann the seducer
30 October 2008 | by (uk) – See all my reviews

I'll say first that I empathize with this narrator and I found this film to be well worth the time. However, having seen far more personal and daring attempts at catharsis I was put off by the film's consistent, crass disingenuity. Within the first ten minutes, it becomes clear that the narrator's quest to pursue the "history of his failed relationships" is merely a narcissistic attempt to further reinforce the high opinion he holds for himself. This is a fantasy rock-star gratifying himself with a wink to the camera, evidenced more by the passive-aggressive and flippant attitude he displays toward the people who've touched him than by the headphones he costumes around his neck. At the beginning of the film we are introduced to a list of his ex-girlfriends, which we should note is average or above average in length for a man his age, a man who is not physically unattractive. He crassly reintroduces himself to each of the lovely women who've left him with obvious disregard for the people they've become, and we retain the impression that he's carried his camera crew with either bitterness or adolescent bravado to their door for a boast. We see him coaxing smiles from attractive young women on the roadside who giggle and coo for his attentions; we see his mother chide him for having ignored the amorous letters of the many women who've adored him, even as he suppresses a smile; we see him make a fool of "geeky" skateboarders, as if his own ostentatious display of guitars didn't evidence some puerile naivete. All this within the first ten minutes - and is all this to establish some wobbly foundation from which he'll fall, and in the throes of personal agony lay himself raw to some revelation? Perhaps, in the last ten minutes. The majority of the film speaks more to pathos than tragedy. The story unfolds as we loathe to expect: he returns to each of his ex-girlfriends to remind them of how he humiliated them the first time, and it will be a pleasure if he can do so again. He even goes through the motions of finding a new girlfriend (since by now we've established firmly that finding a new girlfriend has NEVER been the problem) just so he can vent even more hostility in systematically rejecting and dismissing them all. He just can't seem to find the committed, genuine anger or the beating he wants as a response - not from a counselor, whose words lack the pain and not from a dominatrix, whose pain is misspoken. By the time our hero takes his Viagra and we're equally convinced his problems have nothing to do with sex, just as our 'documentary' seems to devolve into a time-wasting farce, he narrows to his last, most meaningful interview. Hostility is funny but it can't replace an apology. Now the perennial question 'why did you dump me?' is marked by a more tender, anxious delivery. Even as our imagination pads the brevity of this conversation with some depth, one can't help but wonder to what extent, wiping her tears, this woman also felt used. Who couldn't love the way it ends.


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