I spent the first half hour of A Complete History Of My Sexual Failures thinking that Chris Waitt was lucky to get women to talk to him at all( as it happens many don't, ) let alone have relationships with them, sexual or otherwise. A scruffy slacker type who makes stringing a sentence together look physically draining Waitt , an independent film-maker by profession , decides to get to the bottom of his constant malfunction s with the opposite sex. Why do they always dump him ?
Could be something to do with his unreliability , his air of bewildered apathy , his muddled communication skills ?Or could it be the pubic fur ball behind the toilet? Either way he's a disaster as a boyfriend , backed up by off all people his mother who produces letters from ex-girlfriends many of which resort to profane insults ."Oi ******" begins one charmingly . The boss of his production company rounds on him after seeing the first scenes from the film . "I was employing Guerrilla tactics " whines Chris "A gorilla could have done a better job" points out the boss in a typically uncompromising boss type way .
Yet as the film plods on , very much like Chris as it happens , I found myself warming to him. The girls who deign to talk to him are all lovely , articulate and intelligent and his complete lack of ego and humility are endearing. The film takes a left turn with stuff about erectile dysfunction , some of which is hilarious and some of which is frankly a little disturbing . A drunk Chris with a monstrous tumescence courtesy of a Viagra overdose asking total strangers to have sex with him is uncomfortable to watch ,though I did howl with laughter when he approached a nice looking middle aged women. "Don't, you think I'm too old for you ?" she asks ."I don't mind" he reply's desperately ."My husband might " she says pointing to the bloke stood behind him .Priceless.
As Chris gets to the real crux of his problem the film again does a thematic body swerve and becomes intensely poignant and even gives us a happy ending which is signposted but is none the less extremely welcome .Indeed it occurred to me that the whole film process is a metaphor for the central relationship explored by the narrative. It starts out quirky and all over the place and ends up dripping with pathos .And as a bloke I had to admit Chris might not be particularly good at hanging on to women but the ones he has relationships with are all great. If only I had a string of ex,s half as attractive and smart.
Even if the film feels a little staged at times there is no denying that there are some real raw emotions on display . And the humiliating lengths and depths of self -abnegation that the film maker goes to in his voyage of self discovery are quite eye popping and absurdly amusing but it,s the string of ex-girlfriends who give A Complete History Of My Sexual Failures it,s real heart and intellect.