Review of Huge for The Edinburgh Reporter
As a fan of the Armstrong and Miller shows, I was interested to see Ben Miller’s first film, Huge, which is about a pair of comedians trying to make it. If nothing else the director/co-writer has the research under his belt.
Unfortunately, the film is a little bit flat. The main problem is that there is no evidence that the comedians, Warren (Johnny Harris) and Clark (Noel Clarke) are funny. In any way. We hear the same three lines of their material over and over again, which is of symbolic relevance in terms of different stages of their relationship – but the bit isn’t that funny and certainly doesn’t stand up to constant repetition.
For some reason Warren and Clark think they are hilarious. Whilst Russell Tovey is brilliant as Clark’s horrible manager, Thandie Newton does a hilarious coke-addled talent agent, and nice guy Darren (Oliver Chris) is very funny when he finally stops being nice, the so-called comedians are just a bit sad. If anything, having so many very strong moments courtesy of the supporting cast adds to the feeling of unfulfilled potential of the main protagonists.
If we found out more about Warren’s wristbands, or saw a conclusion to Clark’s unrequited love, maybe there would have been some emotional resonance. If we had seen some more of their material, maybe we’d have got behind them more in the knowledge that they genuinely deserved to be huge.
Instead this was a film about two fairly average blokes, both of whom are desperate to escape the drudgery of daily life. They might be funny or they might not, it’s hard to tell. And they argue a lot, which is probably realistic if nothing else. It’s not a terrible film by any means, but neither is it the one thing you need to rush out and buy tickets for before the festival ends. Do watch it when it comes on telly, if only for the numerous cameos, but don’t expect the likes of the RAF Airmen sketch, because Warren and Clark are no Armstrong and Miller. Or Mitchell and Webb. Or Lee and Herring. Or Pete and Dud. Or even their own idols, Morecambe and Wise.