My Last Five Girlfriends (2009) Poster

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9 ReviewsOrdered By: Helpfulness
Clever plot devices abound in this quirky and well-executed rom-com
Miakmynov13 July 2009
"You'll probably wind up sitting next to the cast and crew" suggested the marketing blurb on the Edinburgh International Film Festival poster; an unlikely overstatement I thought, until I went to this little gem of a film, and the bloke in the next seat along turned out to be the Directory of Photography. Indeed, a healthy smattering of the cast and crew pitched up for the film's second showing, and fair play to them for taking the trouble.

I'm not really a great one for rom-coms, this was a definite wife-pick and I went in with limited expectations. However, it didn't take long for a fairly rapid re-appraisal. The basic premise - a series of takes on why some relationships don't work out from the perspective of a slightly geeky bloke (apparently, this is grossly unfair as my wife informs me that he's pretty hot stuff) – is not desperately original, but the manner of its execution is both well above the average and decidedly original.

The film is crammed with witty and ingenious ideas – the Barbie doll vignette to summarise the 'girl on a plane' back-story is inspired, as is the Theme Park concept of a different ride for each girlfriend. Nice. The cameos are perfectly-pitched, in particular Michael Sheen and Johnny Ball, and the effervescent Vitamin C tablet fake ending was equally well-judged. The pace is fast and there's little, if any, slack in the tight script – indeed, if I had a minor grumble, it would be that I felt the film would have benefited from a little more time spent on character development of girlfriends 1-4.

Effective as a comedy on a number of levels, it even managed to slot in some painful relationship truisms – the 'cereal box' effect at the start of a relationship, yet another clever idea – that had the audience chuckling in knowing appreciation.

It left me wanting more, and I hope that commercial success beckons, because this film thoroughly merits it. 7/10 (which is admittedly a bit mean, and more down to me not really liking the genre).
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Entertaining, interesting and well acted with some unusual features
geoffgee26 March 2010
I had no knowledge of the novel by Alain de Botton on which this is based, but I had previously watched several of his TV programs. While I was watching the film something someone was saying would occasionally remind me of the writer's (Botton's) psychological (and philosophical) interests. There was, however, ample drama for me to be able to feel empathy for most of the characters, as well as enough unexpected plot 'surprises' to maintain my desire to find out what would happen next. Visually I tended to find there was rather more use of distorting lenses in the cinematography than I am used to (or, personally, comfortable with), but having said that I can also see why their use may be reasonably justified. Fairly understated but nonetheless enthusiastic performances from most of the actors and actresses. Definitely well worth the time spent watching.
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Not Your Typical Rom-Com
Lauren Racela29 June 2012
Surprising. I wasn't quite sure what this movie was going to be like. In the beginning, it seemed to be a bit dark and cynical, but the attitude turned around and quickly became funny, witty, and interesting. The concepts in this movie are so dream-like and imaginative that I couldn't get enough of Duncan's little quirks. I also fell in love with the way the writers used everyday things to symbolize an aspect of Duncan's love life, like a pair of shoes or an avocado. This movie is, in a word, real. It's safe to say everyone can relate to this movie, and it's like 5 little stories in one. Honestly this film is fantastic and definitely worth watching.
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Excellent and amusing romantic drama with a sense of style
Neil Welch24 March 2010
Warning: Spoilers
So I'm the first one to have seen this in a cinema without any of the cast and crew being present? Well, that didn't influence my opinion! This little film crept in with no fanfare, and only the title indicating that it perhaps belonged in romcom territory (not without laughs, although it has rather more drama than comedy).

Storywise it hold no great surprises, but the way it unfolds is something of a triumph, displaying great originality in writing and direction. Much of what appears on screen is an absolute delight.

The only cast members I had heard of (apart from cameos) were Naomie Harris and Jane March, but all were good.

But I urge you to go and see it without reading too much about it, for fear of encountering spoilers,
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Don't bother if you are not British - you won't get it
iain-21818 November 2011
I think this film may not cross water - the Americans won't get the humour, and the Europeans will be wondering why we have to work so hard to get in to bed with each other (its why there are so many drunk British people in Spain, we can't do it sober).

There are two aspects of the film which bring it to the top of the pile - the script and the cinematography. The script is not just tight and well-timed; its storyline is a fairly accurate, almost forensic, depiction of why we keep screwing up in relationships (that's a British 'we' of course). The imagery is fantastic, a clever mix of interesting/beautiful angles and variously styled animated sequences.

The acting is good but not great, but perhaps that was an implicit theme within the film...very clever.
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Something entirely unique and inspired
weezebumble24 May 2010
Warning: Spoilers
** SPOILERS ** It seems that something fresh (and dare I say, 'real') is emerging in film in the past year or so. My Last Five Girlfriends is a perfect example of this phenomenon as is How To Train Your Dragon and even (to a lesser extent) 500 Days of Summer. In my opinion, there are other films who attempt this kind of reality, but only these above have really made a mark.

This movie should not been assumed to be a rom-com as it is far more than that. Its an honest look at human relationships and it bravely dances around major existential issues such as the struggle to be loved, fear of death, suicide and the meaning of life.

The acting was great and while I imagine the budget was quite small, it didn't show. Attention to detail is what made the difference here. The only quibble I have is that the end could have been a lot more powerful as it suffered a similar fate as 500 Days of Summer. Well worth a watch as it undoubtedly prompts self-reflection.
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Not that good as the other reviewers would have you think
adi-cat31 August 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I have to say that I decided to watch this after reading the other 4 reviews on this movie. Now I wish I didn't. It failed to impress me on so many levels. A large part of the movie is narrated, which may work well under certain circumstances and when done in the right conditions but for me... well, narration in a movie should have a much smaller part to play (while introducing some scenes, or explaining a few things) not constitute almost one third of it.

Moreover, I don't know if the director intended it to be this way, but the whole emotional picture of the movie seems so bleak and sordid. On top of that you're never really being told why the main character is being dumped by all of his 5 girlfriends in a row.

I mean, it's kind of obvious that he exhibits some type of wuss-like behavior, at least with some of them, but you never get to really learn the women's perspective on the matter, or see the character having an epiphany on the reasons why his sentimental life has been a complete failure so far. He doesn't seem to be capable to understand why women run off him and by the end of the movie he isn't any wiser on the matter then at the beginning. Perhaps a little more depressed.

Due to that fact, the meeting with the last girl in the end of the movie, instead of shedding a ray of hope on his future love life, it kind of leaves you with the sentiment that he's probably going to screw that up, as well.

I have to admit, it has a few moments when it gets a little warmer and it gives you the feeling that it might get better from there on. But then it ultimately disappoints.

As I said, totally unimpressive and forgettable, in my book. But that's just my two cents' worth.
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Mostly annoying, but cute star, hilarious boots
jm1070112 February 2014
Four stars because Brendan Patricks is cute; this character could easily be EXTREMELY annoying, but he never is, not for one second.

The theme park gimmick is sort of clever, and the red boots are hilarious. I laughed out loud. Otherwise this movie is mostly tiresome and occasionally irritating - especially the WAY-TOO-LONG final section with Naomie Harris.

But then I'm gay; I like women, and I admire them a lot, but the notion of being attracted to them sexually is weird. I can usually get around that hurdle when watching straight movies, but for some reason I couldn't with this one.
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A tragicomic view at dating
q_leo_rahman11 September 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Love is not simple, as the film's protagonist Duncan discovers to his increasing despair over the course of five love affairs. It's something most people already know, however in this case the lesson comes in the manner of a satirical but dismal take on the classic British romance comedy.

The film presents a tragicomic view at the world of dating, with Duncan having relationships with five women, all of which go bad. The first two don't get very far, the third comes to an acrimonious end through a dispute, the fourth runs out of steam, and the fifth is where the most drama comes in. This would be a bitterly bleak tale if it wasn't for Duncan's comic commentary: he presents the sad situation in a sardonic, sly manner that makes the situation funny for us, but retains its sadness and dignity where he is concerned. The fact that it's so true to life for a lot of people is the main appeal of this tale: a lot of us have trouble finding and being with people, and can get disillusioned at how difficult it gets.

Brendan Patricks carries the film as Duncan, whose initially bright outlook on life slowly darkens and becomes more melancholy with each failed romance. The rest of the cast are more or less adequate, acting as subjects to explore a specific dilemma Duncan goes through; it may have been better for each of the girls to have given their own views so that they're less sketchy, but then the point is that Brendan doesn't understand their perspective, and so it works out in a painfully realistic and understandable manner.

The film ends on a bleak note, with Duncan deciding to just move on with life and away from love for the sake of his sanity... and then the adventure continues, as he meets someone new. He represents the eternal lover in quest, through hope and despair, of an ideal soulmate to be with. And that's what most of us romantics are.
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