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.
A Lionsgate release and presentation of a Generator Entertainment production, in association with Molinare, Northern Ireland Screen. Produced by Mark Huffam, Aidan Elliott. Executive producers, Zygi Kamasi, Nick Manzi, Emma Berkofsky, Steve Milne, Andrew Boswell, Simon Bosanquet. Directed by Paul Angunawela. Screenplay, Leigh Francis, Angunawela.
Camera (color, widescreen, HD), Julian Court; editor, Peter Boyle; music, Mark Todd; music supervisor, Ian Neil; production designer, Tom McCullagh; art director, Gillian Devenney; costume designer, Hazel Webb-Crozier; sound (Dolby Digital), Nigel Albermaniche, Derek Hehir; re-recording mixer, Scott Jones; visual effects, Molinare VFX; stunt coordinator, Rob Inch; assistant director, Barry Keil; casting, Kelly Valentine Hendry, Victor Jenkins. Reviewed at Vue Islington, London, Aug. 24, 2012. Running time: 85 MIN.
Leigh Francis, Verne Troyer, Kelly Brook, Laura Aikman, Kevin Bishop, David Hasselhoff, Conleth Hill, Harish Patel, Nina Wadia, Paddy McGuinness, Fearne Cotton, Holly Willoughby, Billy Ocean, Gary Barlow, Ronan Keating, Emma Bunton, Melanie Chisholm.