Desperate to make a name for themselves, two film students (Riley, Burke) attempt to make a sex flick with porn star Candy Fiveways (Electra). Obstacles: suspicious parents, a lack of cash and their seedy financiers.
Nobody does the comedy of embarrassment as well as the Brits, and the plot of this Ealing Studios effort ensures painful laughs at every turn. The heroes are a pair of ambitious students (Toms Riley and Burke) who set out to make their mark in movies by creating the world’s greatest porno. It doesn’t help that they live in the genteel Surrey suburbs, or that they have to cast and film their skinflick opus under the noses of their teacher and parents. Many of the funniest moments come from the clash between erotic epic and dull reality, like the decrepit old gent in a wheelchair who keeps rolling into shot and waving.
It’s almost stubbornly predictable, especially for anyone who saw last year’s The Moguls, a lame US comedy with a similar plot. But the familiar story beats can be excused, since it’s loaded with inventive scenarios that crank the cringe factor off the chart. One excruciating scene sees one of our heroes trapped in his parents’ en suite bathroom while his progenitors embark on a marathon kinky-sex session next door — as if that wasn’t enough, director Stephen Surjik (Wayne’s World 2) throws in a nearly naked Pole who needs a number two.
The effective supporting cast is filled with familiar TV faces: Jimmy Carr, Felicity ‘Lynn from Alan Partridge’ Montagu and Mackenzie Crook, who’s terrific as a pretentious, nastily goateed film professor. Crook’s character pretty much embodies the movie — a flimsy cliché that still somehow manages to be fresh and funny. While a few moments fall flat (ping-pong ball-shooting Oriental ladies stopped being side-splitting in 1804), there are also lots of smart gags, like a hostile phone conversation that ends in both parties adopting kissy sweet-talk to fool people on their end of the line.
The filmmakers seem to have set out to make I Want Candy a British American Pie, and unlike most homegrown comedies it deserves some broad attention. Marketing will no doubt heavily feature the film’s American ‘star’, Carmen Electra, who plays the eponymous Candy Fiveways, a blue-movie starlet with a heart of gold. It should be noted that Electra is as dreadful here as she was in Scary Movie 4 and the rest of her big-bosomed body of work — somehow, even her porn acting is unconvincing — but don’t let that put you off.
A warm-hearted, smutty comedy that, if predictable, has a likeable cast and plenty of zip.