British Gala / European premiere

A Complete History of My Sexual Failures

  • Chris Waitt /
  • United Kingdom /
  • 2008 /
  • 89 mins

Documentary / English

One man's struggle with women. All women.

?Ladies: ever wondered why that nice, sensitive chap who once seemed so smitten with you just stopped calling? Or suddenly lost all interest in the sexual consummation that he once aggressively pursued? Or snogged your mum at a party? It may be that he was Chris Waitt. In which case, this hilarious confessional will make everything about as clear as mud. Turns out that Waitt himself doesn’t comprehend for a second why, over the years, he’s shafted every promising relationship and proven himself the world’s worst boyfriend. It takes an odyssey of investigation, recrimination and humiliation to tell the painful tale: just as Moore has stalked the wicked rich and Spurlock the fast-food menace, so Waitt is relentless in pursuit of his own inadequacies and those who have punished him for them. Needless to say, there’s an inherent contradiction: it takes self-regard on a grand scale to be this open with one’s self-deprecation, and Waitt’s own sloppy-sweet persona is certainly the film’s chief love interest. What emerges, however, is not just a comedic autobiopic, but a telling snapshot of a moment in masculinity: while the women around him seek anxiously to define themselves and direct their own lives, Waitt, unformed by any stable sense of sexual politics, flounders in artificially-maintained boyhood. (Literally: he lives surrounded by toys.) If much of this documentary is played forthrightly for laughs, it does have its surprisingly touching moments, as when Waitt clocks on camera just what he missed by letting one of his great loves go, and seems to waver for a moment as the pain behind the performance kicks in for real. Still, Waitt’s definition of failure might not move lonelier viewers. He’s only been dumped by knockouts, and his hangdog charms keep him well supplied with romantic anecdotes right to the film’s unexpectedly upbeat end...

2008 Archive

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