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Stars: Sharon Horgan, Stephen Mangan, Anthony Head
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13 March 2009 (UK)  »

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Bitter & Twisted  »

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Dark comedy that is quite funny due to the exaggerated reality and foul language
16 November 2007 | by See all my reviews

After a one night stand between colleagues Alex and Helen, thinks immediately get awkward, not helped at all by Alex's uncanny ability to say the wrong thing or suggest the wrong motivations for his actions. It doesn't help that he is going through a divorce and needs somewhere to sleep or that Helen is grieving on the one year anniversary of her husband's death. Helen offers Alex her sofa if she helps the actor boyfriend of her mother and, with the only other option being the spare room of his pervert boss, Alex has little choice.

Shown as part of the Comedy Showcase films on Channel 4 recently, this film is considerably darker and more foul mouthed than many of the other films. The plot is a complex adult situation that draws its humour from the extremity of Alex and Helen's lives with those around them. I would compare its awkward style of humour with The Office but it is not really grounded in reality in the way that and other comedies of its ilk are. This doesn't mean though that it isn't funny though because it is rather thanks to the writing, which puts flesh on the unlikely scenarios. In this way it is enjoyably crude and adult – not the smartest or cleverest thing you'll ever see but it is funny nevertheless.

The cast do help a lot because their reactions and performances are key in making it work. Mangan is solid in the title role and he works well with Horgan, who has a harder character to work with but does well to keep it reasonably convincing within the world of the film. Tomelty and Barber are OK but the film is rather dominated by a well-observed "pervert boss" turn from Head who gets more foulmouthed as the film goes on.

Not that inspired as a comedy but it is still funny if you let yourself be taken in by the exaggerated sexual and foulmouthed sense of humour.


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