Reviewed by GREG KING
Director: Chris Waitt.
Occasionally funny and quirky documentary from independent British film maker Chris Waitt who sets out to explore on-screen why he has been dumped by several ex-girlfriends. Over the course of several years Waitt has been dumped via e-mail, SMS, answering machine, and one former girlfriend even wrote a novel in which she viciously killed his character.
Befuddled by the fact that most of his exes are still angry with him, Waitt decides to make a documentary in which he tries to find out why he has little success with women. He starts by trying to contact all of his ex girlfriends, but they want nothing to do with him or his film. Waitt’s very personal film looks doomed until his understanding and supportive mother steps in and negotiates with a couple of his former girlfriends. Then we get a number of candid interviews that offer insights into why Waitt finds it hard to maintain a long-term relationship.
There are a number of painful and painfully embarrassing revelations throughout the film, but these only go so far. Then Waitt resorts to a number of clever gimmicks to inject some interest into the film. There is some speed cyber-dating. There is also an honest but painfully embarrassing exploration of his problems with erectile dysfunction. When Waitt decides to seek help for his sexual failures we get to follow him through a series of counselling sessions, with psychosexual therapists, masseurs, and even a visit to a bondage dungeon. Then there is an overdoes of Viagra, which sees Waitt desperately racing around the city looking for some casual sex, a humiliating experience which results in him being arrested.
Although A Complete History Of My Sexual Failures is sometimes unexpectedly funny, it also comes across as something of a self-indulgent exercise. It is a little messy and lacks a firm focus; someone with firmer editorial control should have tightened up this mess and it could have been a far more enjoyable experience. The pathetic Waitt comes across as a not very sympathetic or likeable character, and some of the time spent in his company is not very interesting. It’s easy to see why his previous girlfriends quickly tired of his self-centred, narcissistic personality. By the end of the film though a chance encounter during his Viagra fuelled prowl through the city leads to an unexpected relationship that holds out hope that Waitt may have finally found one person who understands him.