Two aspiring standup comics team up to take on London’s unforgiving comedy circuit in the almost unforgivably dire “Huge,” a helming debut for the usually droll British TV humorist Ben Miller. The only conceivable excuse for pic’s near-total lack of laff-generating material is that it’s really meant to be a straight drama, intentionally devoid of jokes, that somehow got marketed in the wrong way. Whatever the explanation, the amateurishly made pic did minute biz locally and looks set for ancillary obscurity.Warren (character actor Johnny Harris) and Clark (Noel Clarke, “Kidulthood”) meet when Clark heckles Warren at an amateur standup night in a bar. Impressed by Clark’s supposed wit (barely evinced by what’s seen onscreen), the slightly nutso Warren persuades him to join him for a double act. The only scene that comes vaguely close to being funny is one where the twosome tweak out on coke provided by an American agent (Thandie Newton) at an industry party that provides cameo opportunities to helmer Miller’s many famous comedian friends. The slapped together script is not helped by the leads’ weak, poorly-timed perfs or the slapdash tech credits.
An Independent Distribution release of a Toff Media production in association with Matador Pictures, Hat Trick Prods., Cinema Three, Regent Capital, Fortuitous Films. (International sales: Independent, London.) Produced by Rebecca Farhall, Colin Jones. Executive producers, Nigel Thomas, Charlotte Walls, Jimmy Mulville, Phil Hope. Directed by Ben Miller. Screenplay, Miller, Simon Godley, based on a play by Jez Butterworth, Miller, Godley.
Camera (color, widescreen), Trevor Forrest; editor, Richard Graham; music, Christian Henson; music supervisors, Alison Wright, Hilary Skewes; production designer, Kristian Milsted; art director, Kajsa Soderlund; costume designer, Fiona Chilcott. Reviewed on DVD, Hoveton, U.K., July 20, 2011. (In Edinburgh Film Festival.) Running time: 78 MIN.
Noel Clarke, Johnny Harris, Michelle Ryan, Oliver Chris, Thandie Newton, Tamsin Egerton.