Danny Dyer trades in his wideboy screen persona for slapstick japes in latest movie Run For Your Wife. It's a fresh side to the man best known for Nick Love lads' flicks and Deadliest Men documentaries, seeing him play a London cab driver reeling after a blow to the head threatens to expose him as a bigamist. Dyer's John Smith has two wives (Denise Van Outen and Sarah Harding) and two lives, organising his taxi shifts so he can shuttle between homes in North and South London.
Ray Cooney, whose long-running stage play inspired the film, steps behind the camera with John Luton to oversee the mayhem. Many of Cooney's old theatre pals - among them Judi Dench, Richard Briers, Andrew Sachs, Christopher Biggins and Lionel Blair - are along for the ride, but unfortunately the end result feels more like a museum relic than a zinging contemporary comedy. The humour wouldn't seem out of place in the Carry On or Confessions of... series (whose star Robin Askwith cameos here).
This tale of marital misunderstanding (we know this, because the word "misunderstanding" is uttered over and over again during the brisk 90-minute running time) sees Dyer experience numerous pratfalls and humiliations. John gets bashed on the head by an old lady with a handbag, stands on a garden rake, eats a piece of paper and gets his trousers yanked down.
All this is weaved around desperate gurning from Van Outen and Harding, Neil Morrissey sitting on a chocolate cake, a pair of characters hilariously called Dick and Fanny, and Biggins yelling out phrases like "wobble your boobies" for no apparent reason. Oh, and trousers get pulled down and we witness Blair go backside first through a bathroom floor.
In an interview with Digital Spy back in 2011, Dyer offered up a blunt and honest assessment of his career as a movie star: "I've made over 40 films. I'd say a quarter of them are s**t, another quarter are all right and I'd say half of them have got something to say." No prizes for guessing which category Run For Your Wife falls into.