Cue 75-odd proceeding minutes of sight gags, cloying innuendo, nonsensical cameos and Neil Morrissey as Run for Your Wife swiftly loses grasp of its slither of a plot. More akin to a feature-length episode of the Beeb’s ChuckleVision than a contemporary riff on the Confessions… franchise, Cooney and Luton have seemingly spent more time dragging every British telly actor from the past 50 years out of retirement for one last hurrah, than sculpting a screenplay. What’s more, when this last ‘hurrah’ involves sharing screen-time with a wildly miscast Dyer in perhaps the year’s worst film so far, it’s obviously high time Christopher Biggins, Lionel Blair and company had a serious one-to-one discussion with their respective agents.
Far more alarming than Run for Your Wife’s complete absence of quality, however, is its continual reliance on near-homophobic humour to carry its almost non-existent collection of laughs. At one point in the film, Dyer’s Smith falsely admits to entering into a relationship with best friend Gary (Morrissey) to cover his tracks, at which point we’re presumably expected to hold our aching sides as the pair huddle uncomfortably in front of an enquiring police inspector. In addition, Biggins and Blair’s crowbarred ‘gay couple upstairs’ conform almost entirely to haggard stereotype, leading one to wonder why a film so apparently enthralled with the machinations of modern relationships can appear so prehistoric in its approach to same-sex partnerships.
A rewardless slog from start to finish, with some of the worst dialogue audible from an ensemble cast since – well, Movie 43 – Cooney and Luton’s Run for Your Wife even fails to register as a tongue-in-cheek, ‘so-bad-that-it’s-good’ guilty pleasure. Replacing the term ‘dire’ with ‘Dyer’ as a dismissive adjective to describe the film would, to give you some idea, be considered scabrous, Wildean wit in comparison to most of the bottom-rung humour offered up by this irredeemable British affair.