Keith Lemon, the boorish, mustachioed alter ego of U.K. comic Leigh Francis, made his assumed name as the host of tongue-in-cheek chatshow “Celebrity Juice” on Britain’s ITV network. This execrable film debut, however, suffers from reverse Norma Desmond syndrome: He’s still small, it’s the picture that got big. Perfunctory rags-to-riches narrative is secondary to the smutty groan-along gags and second-class celeb cameos that are the pillars of Lemon’s shtick, giving fans nothing they can’t get in their living rooms, save a pixelated penis and the odd C-word. Box office should prove the title’s implied event status premature.
Story finds dim-witted Leeds entrepreneur Lemon traveling to London to make his fortune; while his pregnant g.f. is kidnapped by a vengeful debt collector (Francis again), a TV gig with David Hasselhoff lands Lemon millions and the buxom attentions of Kelly Brook. That the “Piranha” actress is the film’s idea of an A-lister is telling indeed; other semi-famous faces, including sundry ex-Spice Girls and ITV presenters, hardly boost the irony-deficient pic’s exportability. Tech credits are barely acceptable, which is more than can be said for the ethnic stereotypes.