Reviews

Guest House Paradiso

1

Rik and Ade fans lament: Guest House Paradiso is proof that the one-time Dangerous Brothers, the stars of Comic Strip and the best thing in The Young Ones, have finally, completely lost it. While they claim this isn't "a Bottom movie", the two main characters are clearly the same people, and a change of surnames/setting ain't enough to convince you that this is something new. So the needle-dicked Richie and his alcoholic flatmate Eddie have been moved from their decaying London bedsit to the hellish coastal hotel of the title. And during the relocation, someone's obviously mislaid all the jokes.

Okay, Bottom offered little more than ultraviolent slapstick and farty knob-gags, but at least the grubby setting gave it an effective kitchen-sink comedy feel, offering an older, slightly more pathetic version of the student digs in The Young Ones. The hotel-of-your-nightmares scenario, however, simply doesn't work. It's as if they're trying for a super-grotty Fawlty Towers atmosphere, but neither lead can fill the supposed Basil/Manuel roles.

Also, the material doesn't fit the 90-minute, big-screen format. The stage shows were successful because they allowed for improvisation and interaction with the audience. But on celluloid, Bottom stinks. The few chuckles you'll be able to muster for the opening scenes soon disappear, and your jaw will just hang slackly as you try to get your head round the desperate unfunniness of it all.

Rik and Ade gurn, go boss-eyed, shout, fight, shout, fart, fight and shout again. Every possible comic device is thrashed into oblivion as the pair frantically overplay the barren script, and even the usually magnificent Vincent Cassel (La Haine, Dobermann) can't save the movie. Indeed, his angry, mock-Italian (surname: Bolognese, HAHAHAHA) manages to be even more embarrassingly pantoish than the two stars.

Imagine that awful Are You Being Served? movie - but with more vomit and pierced nipples. That's about as good as Guest House Paradiso gets. Everyone involved should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves.

Verdict:

Possibly the worst British comedy movie since Parting Shots redefined "dire". It's a preposterous, overacted, embarrassing mess which will only depress fans of Bottom, the Comic Strip or even Filthy, Rich And Catflap. You have been warned.

Film Details

  • 15
  • UK Theatrical Release Date: December 3rd 1999

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