Keith Lemon – The Film Review

Film Still
  • Keith Lemon – The Film film still


Don't believe the rumours! This slap-dash, potty-mouthed atrocity is even worse than advertised.

There's a scene in Keith Lemon – The Film in which Keith Lemon (Leigh Francis) travels down to London from Leeds to attend an inventors' expo in order to gauge interest in a home security device called the Securipole.

For those who don't know, Lemon is a mongrel-like fusion of perma-tanned Northern spiv, Alexei Sayle's Bobby "I've been sleeping in me Jag" Chariot character, Steve Martin's Jerk and an abhorrent sex pervert. Prior to arriving at the expo, he prances around the centre of London in order to pad out a montage.

Eventually, he jumps into a taxi which, unbeknown to him, ex-Spice Girl Emma Bunton has just moments before hailed and entered. We know she is Emma Bunton, because Keith's opening gambit is, "You're Emma Bunton." This motif recurs throughout the film in order to make sure viewers know exactly who they are watching. "What do you think Tinchy Stryder?" "Oh look it's the Rizzle Kicks." "Everyone look at Gino D'Acampo!" etc...

Inside the cab, Lemon and Bunton share an exchange. He says to her, "You're my favourite Spice Girl" to which she replies, "I bet you say that to all the Spice Girls." The exchange carries on for a short time before Lemon's foul mouth alienates Bunton so she makes her excuses and hops out. There is, for about eight glorious seconds, a beautiful, snappy, well executed exchange of dialogue. Not Earth-shakingly funny dialogue, but dialogue all the same.

One person speaking to another person. Sensibly, persuasively, realistically. Bunton's acting is naturalistic and graceful, and even Lemon manages to surpress his sycophantic sexual repartee to engage, for a very short period, in a scene which felt sincere and – dare we say it – poetic.

This eight second stretch is the only moment of note in the entire film. Everything else is horseshit. Horseshit. Horseshit. Horseshit. We came to this film with the hope of surfacing with a few burnished comic pearls from down, down in the lowest common denominator depths. But we came back with nothing.

As expected, Keith Lemon – The Film is little more than an endless, soiled daisy-chain of fourth-tier scrote gags whose erratic orbit occurs around a broken fountain that fires a putrid grey-brown slurry of bodily fluids out into the atmosphere. Shoddy craftsmanship is one thing, but this comes across like it's been produced in front of a firing squad and an over-sized ticking clock while an oleaginous exec screams that the crew have only got 10 minutes left to shoot the entire second half of the film.

In the end, the film implores you to sympathise with Lemon, to understand that aside from his gaudy tastes, idiotic manner, puerile fixations and all-round epic shitbaggery, he's, like, just a nice, normal guy. This is, of course, impossible. Not only is Keith Lemon a vile, self-centred and infuriating comic creation, he also presents a vacuum of humanity. We cannot sympathise with this man, because – in short – he is not a man.

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