Remember that subplot in High Fidelity where John Cusack went around catching up with his exes to find out what went wrong? Yeah? So does Chris Waitt.
One man’s search for answers.
Chris Waitt has just been dumped. Again. Determined to find out why all his relationships end with a door slammed in his face, he decides to track down all his ex-girlfriends and interview them, with some help from his mum and a dominatrix he met on Myspace. This is the result.
Apparently this is a documentary, but to be honest I’m not entirely convinced. There is a disclaimer at the end that says some of the meetings have been recreated after threats of legal action (which I totally believe) but for me this one falls into the same category as Catfish and Exit Through the Gift Shop – it might not be real, but it sure as shit is entertaining.
Our host Chris Waitt is either the bravest or the dumbest man on the face of the earth. Either way, it is certain that he has absolutely no shame. Watching him ask his exes why he is the worst boyfriend they ever had comes uncomfortably close to intrusion on more than one occasion, but Chris’ deadpan narration and to-camera confessionals take most of the sting out. Speaking of sting, the sequence where he visits Mistress Maisie and has to interrupt a spanking session to take a call from his mum is on my shortlist for funniest scene of all time. That moment is indicative of the level of humour within Complete History; this is the humour of embarrassment. Most of the film will bring a smile to your face, but a lot of those smiles will be tempered with awkwardness.
It is difficult to know where our sympathies are supposed to lie. Is it with Chris, the man-child with erectile dysfunction Or with the cavalcade of women he has ignored and emotionally mistreated his entire life? If you’re anything like me, your feelings towards Chris will be all over the map from empathy to disgust and back. He skates the line between determined interviewer and creepy stalker with reckless abandon, and threatens to fall right over it more than once. I’d be curious to hear a woman’s thoughts on this flick though. If you’ve seen it, let me know in the comments.
As a little post script, the end of the film makes the whole thing feel like a Mike Gayle novel. Apparently Chris ended up marrying the beautiful Russian journalist he met while od’ing on Viagra. Unfortunately, he announced three weeks ago that she had left him. If you’re reading this Chris, sorry mate.