If there’s one thing us Brits love, it’s a good old-fashioned feel-good romcom. Ever since Richard Curtis practically birthed the subgenre with classics like Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill and Bridget Jones’s Diary, many have tried – and often failed – to replicate his style with their own Blighty tales of love and laughter. The latest, Chris Green’s Me, Myself and Di, is certainly a mixed bag – but there’s a surprising amount to enjoy in this quirky romp.
The film follows the chirpy and unlucky-in-love Janet Brown (Katy Clayton), who is convinced by her best friend (Lucy Pinder) to reinvent herself as the “dead classy” Jeanette De Brun in an attempt to find love on a girls’ holiday to a Rhyl holiday camp. She soon meets the charming upper-class toff John (Tyger Drew-Honey) who quickly falls for her, but how long can she keep up the façade that she’s more than just a Bolton shelf-stacker?
Anyone who’s ever been on a tacky British seaside resort holiday will be able to relate to the sights and sounds of the resort where most of the film is set – complete with the sleazy camp host (James Lance) and leaking, run-down caravan that Janet is shocked to learn will be her accommodation for the week. It’s certainly relatable, but the film is often surprisingly cruel about almost everyone and everything in it. Whether it’s taking cheap shots at the intelligence of the gormless working-class, openly referring to Rhyl as “scummy” or portraying anyone upper-class as rude and snobbish, the film struggles to make any of the characters particularly likeable. Everyone and everything is presented as fairly unpleasant, while the portrayal of the film’s heroine Janet borders on parody. But even though the characters are so thinly written and bland, the will-they-won’t-they romance is tediously predictable and the whole thing just feels frankly amateur, it’s still surprisingly sweet.
And yet, with all that said, there’s something inherently enjoyable about the film. It’s cheap and nasty like the holiday camp it portrays, but there’s some surprising sweetness littered throughout that is hard to not be swept up in. While it’s certainly a far cry from the days of Richard Curtis, there’s some moments in this sweet and funny romcom that almost make up for the fact that all the characters are so unlikeable. This strange and quirky little Britcom certainly won’t have the longevity of its more iconic peers, but it does just enough to provide an entertaining 90 minute distraction.
Kaleidoscope Entertainment presents Me, Myself & Di in Selected Cinemas 11th June and on DVD & Digital from 21st June