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Solitaire For 2 Review

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★★★★★

After the acclaim afforded his co-directorial debut, Leon The Pig Farmer, Gary Sinyor's solo follow-up falls short of its predecessor's quirky charm. At first sight, the reasons for this aren't obvious - the basic plot is not too cranky and the film has a fair quota of talent in its British supporting cast. But sadly, all their efforts are to little avail. Where Leon had a quaint low-budget effervescence, here things turn out cumbersome, charmless and often quite boring.

Frankel plays Daniel Becker, a womanising control freak who teaches businessmen how to use body language to manipulate their clients. When he literally bumps into the prissy Kate Burrill (Pays), he wonders why she seems to hate him so much. What he doesn't realise is that she has ESP and knows exactly what lecherous thoughts tumble through his brain every time he sets eyes on her. And so the scene should be set for a comic love story examining the bizarre concept of what happens when you can read your partner's mind - and he in turn can tell what you think by your actions. But even this unique combination fails to stir up the belly-laughs. Neither of the protagonists come across as remotely sympathetic and it's difficult to care whether they end up in the sack together or not.

What could have been an offbeat satire of the implications of ESP and Desmond Morris-style people watching adds up to little more than a risible sequence of half-baked ideas which isn't clever enough to pass muster except, perhaps, for the occasional gigglesome sight gag. Throw in an almost surreal interlude with popsters Right Said Fred and the result is a bewildering disappointment.