When A Complete History Of My Sexual Failures opened at cinemas across the world, the documentaries director appeared on all manner of daytime chat shows to talk about the movie. Chris Waitt a small time director had been unlucky in love and the purpose of the movie was for him to address the fact that he had failed in love, chat show hosts all praised him and his movie for being so open, but something in my mind just did not feel quite right.
Beginning the documentary after yet another break up, Chris reveals to the camera that he intends to find all his old dates and long-time girlfriends and see what is wrong with him in order to be a better person in the future. As well as being generally unlucky with the romance aspect of relationships, it seems that Chris has for the last three years also been impotent. Starting at the beginning Chris meets up with a girlfriend he had when they were just eleven years old, slowly moving forward to his most recent encounters.
There are certain disclaimers that come with the movie, namely pertaining to the fact that many of the characters featured have needed to be replaced by actors to protect their identity, the other that names have had to be changed, this is not offered until the movies ending, and I think it's there for a purpose, I purposely believe that this has been highlighted because nobody in their right mind would take this movie seriously.
From the movies offset it's very clear that there is not just the odd actor, but that all of the characters in the movie are acting. Chris involves everyone from his mother to friends and producers of the movie, the most notoriously lame moment coming when he receives a very unhappy phone call from an exec at Channel Four who blast him for his pathetic attempts so far on the movie, this guys voice really could not get much more wooden if he tried. And this is just the start, all the encounters are staged, the people he meets almost seem prompted to do and say certain things.
Nobody at all wants to talk to Chris, none of his previous lovers and girlfriends at all initially, phone calls turn into abuse, doors are not answered "Are you kidding?" is one particularly over animated reply when he seeks ladies for his film. Even when his mother checks back through love letters he has received over the years they are pretty damning "Hello A**hole" or my favourite "Hello C**ty", and you have to ask what sort of mother would keep their sons love letters, and more to the point given the time frames of Chris' life, exactly how many love letters would he genuinely have had? What could a person do that would inspire another to send such damning love letters?
As the movie progresses and it seems the only people that want to talk to Chris say similar things, generally that they grew apart, he was uninterested, sex was dreadful, and that he was often up to two hours late. You do have to ask how someone who looks like an incredibly grubby looking Shaggy from Scooby Doo would manage to achieve the possibility to date such women, he has far from an endearing personality that is unless you have a thing for men that seem downtrodden by life, and have no aims or goals whatsoever. You could not even say he is an attractive enough guy to attract such a series of attractive women, and to be fair the volume of ladies that Chris claims to have had would most definitely slide him into the category of gigolo.
Now despite my constant gripping about the legitimacy of the movie as a comedy offering it's not a bad film, the girl that sits behind a screen and talks through a computer rather than having a face to face conversation with Chris is pretty amusing stuff, as is his visit to a dominatrix who engages in a session of up close and personal testicle abuse, and he flipping well deserved it. Most amusing of all is having taken a whole pack of Viagra because he thinks it was not working, Chris then runs out onto the streets of London asking unsuspecting ladies "Would you f**k me?"
As a comedy that may or may not be based on fact, this is pretty okay viewing, however if you are expecting the promised documentary then you will be sadly disappointed, if there is any truth in the movie at all then there is one very clear message to be learned from this, and that is preserve what you have if you really want it.