New rule: you are not allowed to define yourself as a female-led film if you are using the females in your film to make young women feel shite about themselves. If the females leading your film are Trojan horses for an army of innuendo, slut-shaming and fat jokes they can do one.
The average UK dress size is 16, meaning that a number of the intended audience for British rom-com Me, Myself and Di will be curvy like its protagonist Janet. Janet loves ‘80s music, her Bhangra class and Heat magazine, she’s a happy soul who is content with her lot despite daydreams of finding her soulmate. It seems odd then that Me, Myself and Di devotes so much runtime to tearing Janet down.
Janet (Katy Clayton) has had a pretty rotten thirtieth birthday right up until the moment she wins big at the local Working Men’s Club; a welcome boost after being stood up by an online suitor at the very bench where she was conceived. Her brother Andy (Wim Snape) and his girlfriend Di (Lucy Pinder) – Janet’s only friend – think Janet needs to make a change, and where better to start than by setting off on a prize winner’s holiday at…a caravan park in Rhyl?!
Dragging a reluctant Di along as her sidekick on this lifechanging break, ebullient Janet (fresh from the obligatory makeover montage) refuses to have her spirits dampened by the mounting evidence that this getaway is a horrible idea and even agrees to pose as posh to appease Di and improve her chances at love. Di has problems of her own, a surprise pregnancy which is a reality check to her glamour girl aspirations and wild ways.
Shy holiday park guest and unconvincing geek Jon (Tyger Drew-Honey) is away with his family for the yearly break they have continued to take since the passing of his father, who now accompanies them in an urn. Jon – full name Jonty – is legitimately posh but far too well mannered to notice that Janet (‘Jeanette’) isn’t. Fortunately, Di is there to undermine her at every turn and to blow up her cover story, despite the role she played in authoring it.
Di is having little success with plans for an ego-boosting fling in Rhyll. Apart from the park’s owner Chris Craven (James Lance) – a salt and pepper saucepot with a fine line in sexual harassment – none of the onsite totty are falling under her spell. So she sets her sights on sabotage, chucking obstacles into the path of true love and wrecking Janet’s promising new friendship with Jon’s sister (Georgia Lock) into the bargain.
Di is horrible but Me, Myself and Di is far, far worse. Writer/producer Samantha Lloyd and director Chris Green are a sort of bitchy tag-team who set up a promising heroine, full of sunshine and optimism and then proceed to pick her apart using ghastly characters in naff costumes to parrot their putdowns. Honestly the film had already lost us by Di’s third snide comment but a concentration camp joke over the holiday park tannoy sparked the first flicker of proper hatred.
I HATED Me, Myself and Di, it is puerile, cheap and nasty. The fact that Will Mellor has a ‘star’ cameo tells you everything you need to know about its aspirations, yet it also suggests playing to the very audience the movie seems to be sneering at. Classist, sexist, slut-shaming, pregnancy-blaming, fatphobic and downright ignorant, its only forces for good are Georgia Lock and Katy Clayton who do everything they can with the execrable material they have been given, amidst the swearing panto players who surround them.
A sweet solo dance at the park’s talent show is the lone uplifting moment but you won’t smile for long. After Jon delivers a full nice guy rant about Janet’s attempts at seduction, which wouldn’t be out of place in Promising Young Woman, you may never smile again. We laughed once at an inadvertent joke about trailer trash and spent the rest of the time wondering if it was possible to review this film without swearing. The single star is for the efforts of Lock and Clayton, they deserved better. We all deserve better than this.
Me, Myself and Di opens in Selected Cinemas from 11th June and is available on DVD and Digital from 21st June