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The Ladies Man Review

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Leon Phelps hosts about the only thing he knows: sex. When his frank opinion gets him taken off the air, his bed-hopping lifestyle looks in jeopardy. Yet his prayer are answered when a mysterious ex begs him to come and share her fortune.

★★★★★

Saturday Night Live is well known for launching hugely successful stars, but for every Mike Myers there's a Dana Carvey.

Hoping to follow in the footsteps of SNL's more illustrious members is actor/screenwriter Tim Meadows. As lothario radio show host Leon Phelps, the self-proclaimed "Mother Teresa of boning", he amiably lisps and struts his way through this camp comedy.

The film draws obvious comparisons with Austin Powers: both are ladykillers stuck in a bygone era and fluent in sexual innuendo. However, while Powers lampooned James Bond, Phelps echoes that other crime fighter who could loosen knicker elastic with an arched eyebrow, Shaft. With hair not seen this side of the Jackson 5 and a vertigo-inducing wardrobe, Phelps is every inch the super-fly guy. With the cheesy lines to match. Meadows has the swaggering confidence needed to pull off this kind of role, and shows great promise as a comedic actor. Though a fair few jokes miss the mark, they keep coming so fast that the next giggle is never far off.

Parsons as Phelps' producer, makes a good foil for his co-stars improvisation, while entertaining cameos from the likes of Billy Dee Williams and Tiffani Thiessen up the laugh quotient. However, an uncredited Julianne Moore steals the show from under them in a single scene, showing a real knack for this type of comedy.

What the film lacks is an engaging villain. Ferrell is mildly funny as the repressed leader of the cuckolded husbands out to castrate Phelps, but he's not what you'd expect from this kind of film; while the broad comedy is let-down somewhat by a predictably fluffy ending.

For the most part, Meadows is ready with a knowing wink every time things threaten to turn mawkish.

SNL films are notoriously hit and miss. Tim Meadows' Austin Powers with an afro character is fun and funky enough to put this is the first category. It's fairly forgettable stuff, but still very enjoyable, and suggests Meadows could be a name to watch.