Ray Cooney's 1983 West End comedy "Run for Your Wife" hobbles weakly to the screen in this adaptation co-helmed by Cooney and John Luton.
Ray Cooney’s 1983 West End comedy “Run for Your Wife” hobbles weakly to the screen in this adaptation co-helmed by Cooney and John Luton. Even more creakily archaic than its source’s vintage might suggest, and with a cast unlikely to deliver B.O. even in Blighty, this strained farce will find its best chances in ancillary, but only at bargain-basement prices. Despite the successful export of Cooney’s stage play around the world, foreign prospects look similarly limp.
London taxi driver John Smith (Danny Dyer) has been happily leading a bigamous double life with oblivious wives Michelle (Denise Van Outen) and Stephanie (singer Sarah Harding). But when a heroic stunt attracts local newspaper attention, John and dim-bulb neighbor Gary (Neil Morrissey) must race across town, spinning idiocies to deflect inquiries from suspicious coppers and wives. The laborious climax involves gallons of water, trouser divestment and gay stereotypes (Christopher Biggins, Lionel Blair) beamed in from a distant age. As for the host of cameos from random relics (Cliff Richard, Rolf Harris) and a should’ve-known-better Judi Dench, it can only be imagined that none actually read the script.