It's been called "as funny as leprosy", "a catastrophe”, and "30 years past its sell-by-date". Ray Cooney's new film, 'Run For Your Wife', based on his hit 1983 stage farce, has made the headlines for the sheer awfulness of its reviews.
According to Anthony Quinn of 'The Independent': “It will be lucky to run for nine days. Perhaps never in the field of light entertainment have so many actors sacrificed so much dignity in the cause of so few jokes… From the look of it, Cooney hasn't been in a cinema for about 30 years. "
Meanwhile Peter Bradshaw of 'The Guardian' says: “The humour makes 'The Dick Emery Show' look edgy and contemporary" and that it is likely to make cinema viewers want to put their head in the gas oven.
Released on Valentine's Day, the film stars Dyer as a bigamist taxi driver trying to keep his wives (played by Denise Van Outen and Sarah Harding) away from each other. The 'Daily Mail''s Christopher Tookey said Dyer's performance as a loveable rogue was "as loveable as decomposing roadkill".
The film also features famous people playing cameos. These include Cliff Richard and Rolf Harris as buskers during the opening credits ; Neil Morrissey sitting on a chocolate cake; Richard Briers faling into a hedge and Christopher Biggins pushing Lionel Blair bum-first through a bathroom floor. There's even a role for Dame Judi Dench as a bag lady in a fright wig.
The film was in development for years - Cooney said in 2011 that he had seen three drafts by Hollywood writers with budgets as high as £16m. But rather than allow Fox another year's option, Cooney decided to write it himself and set it in London.
Only last month star-studded Hollywood film, 'Movie 43', was panned as "the Citizen Kane of awful".
'Run For Your Wife', it seems, is an even bigger turkey.