Based on the novel by Alain de Botton, My Last Five Girlfriends tells the story of Duncan, played by Brendan Patricks, who when we meet him, is seriously considering taking his own life. It’s not the jolliest way to open up a romantic comedy, granted, but it kick-starts a journey for Brendan where he tracks down his previous five girlfriends. The idea, as you might have guessed, is to find out from them just where he’s being going wrong in life. Brought to the screen by Julian Kemp, who directs the film and wrote the screenplay too, and he makes Duncan’s journey in My Last Five Girlfriends an interesting and entertaining one. It’s very much off the beaten track where romantic comedies are concerned and all the better for it, examining the frailties and construction of relationships, and looking subtlety at what’s important within them. If that all sounds a little mawkish, however, then don’t be afraid. My Last Five Girlfriends is happy to take structural risks, and it’s also grounded by a strong central performance from Brendan Patricks. The real credit though must go to Kemp, who’s taken an interesting book, and turned it into a surprisingly compelling movie, and one that comes suitably recommended.
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