Dir: Andy Humphries, 2004
Most films are controversial because of their content. The themes and ideas presented, can conflict with a society’s beliefs or morals. Or, it can simply be what is shown. Explicit violence, sex and rape are often triggers for an impending storm of outrage.
Others, such as this, are controversial, purely, because the middle class don’t like it.
Yep! You read that right.
Very few films, have the ability to relay the plot in the movie’s title, but Sex Lives Of The Potato Men tells you all you need to know.
Johnny Vegas and Mackenzie Crook are potato delivery men and they have sex lives.
See? It’s all in the name.
Undoubtedly crude and offensive, Andy Humphries’ first film is a real slice of genuine working class life. They swear, they’re vulgar and they’re crass. What this boils down to, is that they are not restricted by the social mores and stiff upper lip mentality that the middle and higher classes have drilled into them.
The characters are real, down to earth people. Vegas and Crook, portray two very likeable characters that you would find in a pub or factory. These are people we can relate to.
Naturalistic comedy, is only successful if the viewer can identify with the humour. Roy “Chubby” Brown plays to an audience that would occupy the Working Men’s Clubs, go on holiday to Skegness, Great Yarmouth or Blackpool. This film is for those people.
Sex Lives Of The Potato Men is amusing, often hilarious, but there is still a feeling that it could have been funnier. A character who once smeared jam on his ex-wife’s vagina during cunnilingus, buys random fishes and daubs them with the aforementioned condiment to replicate the taste of his ex-wife.
A compulsive masturbator, he thinks nothing of wanking hisself daft over phone sex lines while his friend sits next to him trying to eat his breakfast.
As you can see, the humour isn’t exactly subtle or classy, but it is funny.
Hated by the established critics, such as snobs Mark Kermode and Chris Tookey, Sex Lives Of The Potato Men was lambasted for using Lottery money to fund it.
But, why shouldn’t the money have spent on the film? Why should it only go towards anything that is pro-middle class? There is more to Britain than Richard Curtis or the BBC would have you believe.
The working class made a significant contribution to the Lottery money, so it is only right and fair, that all sections of society are represented.
However, the film isn’t as great as it should be. There seems to be scope for so much more, and feels like a missed opportunity.
But, that’s not to say that it’s bad. It’s still very funny and will give you enough enjoyment for its relatively short running time.
No masterpiece, but definitely worth watching.