When Leigh Francis (in his guise as Keith Lemon) announced that he would be making a feature length film even his biggest fans were left scratching their heads. As a comedian who has made his name in sketch shows and hosting quizzes, it seemed strange that he would choose to take on silver screen.
Only it isn’t strange, not from the perspective of a film studio. The Inbetweeners showed that given the right story, the right set of characters and the right release date, the British cinema-going public were willing to follow their TV heroes into the Multiplexes. So with Keith Lemon, star of Celebrity Juice, Lemon-aid and Lemon La Vida Loca, it seems logical the nation’s favourite TV character can translate to a bigger format with bigger financial gains.
So Keith Lemon The Film is the rags to riches tale of aspiring Leeds-based businessman Keith Lemon. But rather than grow his business organically from Leeds he decides to flog them at a convention in London. At the convention he is praised for his showmanship and is given the rights to a new technological wonder – a mobile phone with no buttons. With his attention diverted, and unable to do basic maths, he accidentally orders a million units from the imaginatively named Evil Tony. Evil Tony then kidnaps Keith’s girlfriend. Meanwhile, sales of the “Lemon Phone” take off and Keith attains the lifestyle of his dreams – including the affections of Kelly Brooke.
If just reading the plot summary seems tedious, this is nothing compared to watching Keith Lemon The Film. It is a film whose main story-telling device should be the inclusion of the phrase “and then” between scenes. It seems that the script and plot were rushed through the treatment stage so quickly that someone forgot to actually include jokes. Instead the audience must sit through 90 minutes of teeth grating irritation.
The main problem with Keith Lemon The Film is that Francis’ comedy has always been an acquired taste. Some hailed Bo Selecta as genius, while others were confused by the stupidity of an oversized mask with a silly voice repeating the same catch-phrase driven nonsense. The fact that many of these characters make cameos in the film shows that Francis’ love of repetition hasn’t run out of steam.
While the producers may have been looking to tap into the Inbetweeners movie feel-good-hit-of-the-summer-market, what they actually create is Keith Lemon: The Film, destined for the bargain bin and the fact it received a cinematic release at all is a slur against cinema. At no stage does the film attempt anything close to production value or cinematic experience. The fact that the production is so shoddy only helps emphasise the film as a money making exercise to exploit gullible cinema-goers.