Film review – A Complete History of My Sexual Failures (2008)

Chris Waitt
Chris Waitt

After once again being dumped, the British self-described independent filmmaker Chris Waitt decided to interview his ex-girlfriends in an attempt to understand why he has been so unsuccessful in every relationship. The result of Waitt’s largely unsuccessful attempts to make contact with his exes is the subject matter of this rather dubious video diary, which contains far too many moments that feel staged. Waitt’s onscreen persona as a scruffy, sad loser and the scenario of him attempting to reconnect with his exes is straight out of High Fidelity. The whole project is just a little too contrived, too many scenes feel rehearsed and too many revelatory comments during the interviews are delivered like punch lines. Even if A Complete History of My Sexual Failures is a completely legitimate documentary, it doesn’t feel like one.

Although it is very likely that Waitt is depicting an exaggerated version of himself for the film, he is too unpleasant and thoughtless. He wants to come across as witty and self-depreciating but instead his attitude and behaviour is that of a mopey teenager. He is not endearing enough for the audience to care about his plight. Many of his antics, including his persistent attempts to interview people who clearly want nothing to do with him, too often come across as creepy rather than funny. The mystery of Waitt’s romantic history is not why so many girls have dumped him but how so many of them actually went out with him in the first place.

Regardless of whether A Complete History of My Sexual Failures is a real documentary or a Borat-style mockumentary, it never really hits the mark. There are some funny moments, including a very graphic visit to a dungeon run by a dominatrix, but otherwise this is a very average film that either suffers from a lack of interesting material or a lack of strong writing.

© Thomas Caldwell, 2009

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One comment


    I met somebody at a party last night who knows Alex, the Russian girl Chris meets towards the end of the film. This person I met also got to know Chris and is adamant that this whole film really is for real.

    I still maintain that the film feels stagey and wasn’t that engaging but I withdraw any insinuations about it not being the real deal.


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