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I Want Candy

Film Two Stars

I saw the trailer for I Want Candy some time ago when I was reviewing the upcoming British films for the year and I have to say I was impressed. It caught my eye, and some of the jokes were pretty funny.

It looked like it carried some class, and not just that but it had some good performances in it too from some emerging British actors and actresses. Oh, and it has Carmen Electra, did I forget to mention that?

So when I got some tickets to an early preview I headed off to see what it was really like, and I was quite surprised.

The film got off to a slow start with some of the jokes not really working out. The comedy, timing and editing take a while to gel together, but when they do the works and setups really do start to come to the fore.

What makes some of them work best is when a scene calls for some quick fire jokes to play off a situation, rather than ones that are setup and play for a big delivery. These ones work the best, like the father reading the cover of the adult DVD his son has been watching, or when he's eating the pear. These moments work especially well.

It's a shame that a lot of the other, more thought through and setup moments don't hit home so well. Still there were plenty of laughs in the audience and a couple of people who really did enjoy it.

The plot is pretty simple. Two student filmmakers, played by Tom Burke and Tom Riley, have been working on their psychological love story script for some three years at college, building to the final exams. When they are announced there's bitter disappointment because the end of course project is in fact a short film of two minutes in length.

However far from demoralised they decide to push on with their film and head off to London to try persuading Working Title to take on the film, and this provides us with one of the funniest character reactions in the film, I loved the receptionist giving them some sarcasm.

They're turned down, surprisingly, and head off to the car and home. On the way they bump into Head Films and go to pitch their idea, during which the Producer realises that this is an adult entertainment company and quickly switches the pitch.

Pretty soon they are committed to making an adult version of their psychological film with one of the biggest adult film stars there is, Candy Fiveways played by the gorgeous, and actually quite talented, Carmen Electra. Not only that but they end up filming it in the Producers house, where he lives with his parents.

It's all a comedy of errors, and actually carries a surprisingly good story. One great thing about the film is that it doesn't just dive into the smut side of the sexual jokes, instead it plays around with them, tries to be a little more subtle and avoids the usual paper thin jokes.

I found that the editing was a little harsh at times, either during the script or film cutting stages, whichever it was the story seemed to skip some possible important decisions that had the potential to develop the characters a little more than they did. What this did do is make the film feel more comic and lighter, and we never really get into the heart of the characters or their relationships.

I think that was a little bit of a shame and did hurt the film a little. I would have liked to have connected more with the characters rather than glide over them. For instance some of the moral decisions that the two leads have to make just seem to happen, decisions are made and they move on.

All that said it's still a good film, a nice Saturday night film to probably take a date to and just let the entertainment wash over you and give you a few good laughs and a nice happy, inoffensive tale.

I do have to give a mention to the acting, particularly the two male leads neither of whom I've seen before. Riley is strong as the Producer and shows some good comic timing and acting ability, but it's Burke who really steals the show and he really caught my eye on the screen.

He's a natural on screen, and just seemed so effortless in his acting. He was so real and watchable that I just wanted to see more of his character, definitely a talent to watch out for. What also surprised me was that Michelle Ryan doesn't have a cockney accent, and boy can she smile. After getting used to her either crying or generally miserable in Eastenders it's great to see her in a role where she's acting and looking great, and giving a pretty convincing performance, even if her character is quite limited. Electra was actually good, there were a few moments where she seemed stilted in her performance, but as the film progressed I found myself taking the character in. Oh, and I can't forget the amusing appearances of Mackenzie Crook, and the genius of Jimmy Carr.

Finally, just one note to end on, the soundtrack is pretty good, and contains the welcome return of Melanie C. who has a great voice. I loved some of her solo songs, and I just hope this marks a return to the studio for her.


UK IMDB Film Details


Trailers:
Sunshine
Wow, to see this on the big screen is superb, I'm dying to see the film now despite the early reviews. The screen was screaming when the clips were playing and it reminded me how much better films look and feel on the big screen rather than a computer screen.

The Hills Have Eyes II
The first time I saw this trailer I thought that it was looking pretty good, the only part I didn't like was the closing scene of the creature licking the woman's face. That just felt that they were humanising the creatures too much and made it much harder to believe in them and hate them. Perhaps it will work out in the film, but I didn't think it felt right in the trailer. Now that I've seen it a few times though it does feel like there's a small, standard horror film beneath the effects and the fast cuts.

Perfect Stranger
Oh lord, talk about giving the story away in the trailers. I can't believe how often this happens, but here it's unbelievable. I do hope that it's total misdirection, but even then it makes you feel like you've figured out the film and know it all before you decide to see it or not, and that means not. You have to wonder what Halle Berry is doing with her career and what Bruce Willis is doing in this.





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Comments

Couldn't agree with you more about Sunshine needing to be seen on the big screen. However the film is ultimately disappointing because Boyle has done nothing new with the genre other than give it a bit of a spit and polish. As a good friend of mine so eloquently put it "Sci-fi by numbers, starting with 2001". I'd have added "and ending with 2001 with not much else inbetween" myself, but there you go.

Hey Ian, great to see that people read the whole review! Or at least the trailer section.

It's interesting that Boyle has been saying that himself - there's nothing new he could do in the sci-fi genre. I don't know if that's an excuse or explanation straight up.

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