Review #40 Run for your Wife


 Director: Ray Cooney

Starring: Danny Dyer, Denise van Outen, Neil Morrissey, Sarah Harding

Running time: 93 minutes

Certificate: 12A

RUN FOR YOUR wife is the story of John Smith (Danny Dyer), who leads one life in Stockwell, South London, where he is happily married to Michelle (Denise van Outen), and another life in Finsbury, North London, where he is equally happy, but married to Stephanie (Sarah Harding). Whilst on the way home from work, he tries to stop a mugging and gets a hit on the head, prompting confusion and a blurring of his two lives.

This movie was absolutely panned when first released in the cinema, so you should try to go in open-minded. But the critics were all correct- it’s rubbish. Although funnily enough, Danny Dyer is not the worst thing about this film. There, it’s been said. The WORST thing about this film is the plot. RUN FOR YOUR WIFE is based on a stage show of the same name, and it’s easy to see how this sort of farcical storyline would work in a theater. The entire film is over-done, you have people enthusiastically running around, men falling through floors and then attempting to climb back up through the hole made from falling through the floor in the first place, and the flamboyant presence of Christopher Biggins, which whilst a welcome break from the stupidity of Denise van Outen’s character (it’s blindingly obvious her husband is having an affair), seems out of place in the film, just like the storyline.

Denise van Outen’s character spends most of the film running after Danny Dyer’s, and Sarah Harding’s character spends most of the film waiting for him to come home. Neither Harding nor van Outen act very well, which isn’t surprising given that neither of them are actresses. Neil Morrissey plays Gary Gardner, the neighbour who unfortunately gets caught up in John’s lies, but as he points out, hasn’t really got anything else to do. At first you hope he might be the film’scomic relief because he makes the one joke that’s actually funny, but almost immediately afterwards you realize his character is incredibly stupid and goes along with even more stupid lies to help out his bigamous neighbour.

Perhaps a minor point, but the decor in the flats is atrocious, which contributes to it looking like a low-budget film. The walls resemble those in Mr. Bean’s flat, and the only thing missing is Teddy, which would have vastly improved the film.

The stupid jokes might have gone down well in front of a live audience in the West End. In fact, they probably did. In one scene Smith wants his wife to stop ringing the phone his other house, so instead of just taking the phone off the hook, he insists on constantly hanging up on her. Who does that?

What a waste of 93 minutes.

One star. Which is awarded to it for being under 100 minutes.

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