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Honest (2000)

To live outside the law you must be... Honest

Directed by:

David A. Stewart

Rating: 3/10

Running Time: 110 minutes

UK Certificate: 18

On DVD

Country: United Kingdom

The path from pop stardom to big screen credibility is strewn with casualties. Take a wander along its rocky surface and, lying by the side of the road, you’ll see the likes of Mariah Carey sobbing into the remains of ‘Glitter’, Britney Spears shaking her head over a copy of ‘Crossroads’, and Natalie Imbruglia pretending she never had anything to do with ‘Johnny English’.

Here, it’s the turn of three-quarters of now-defunct girl band All Saints to attempt the breakthrough – with predictably unsuccessful results. Nicole Appleton, Natalie Appleton and Melanie Blatt (Shaznay Lewis doesn’t get a look in) play three swinging 60s sisters who support themselves and dear old dad (James Cosmo) by dressing up as blokes and carrying out poorly-planned heists.

This cosy criminal lifestyle goes tits up (and, later, tits out) when Nicole’s character, Gerry, gets caught robbing a magazine office by peace-loving American dullard Daniel (Peter Facinelli). Of course, the pair of them are destined to fall unconvincingly in love, but that doesn’t prevent them from become embroiled in a drawn-out and overly-confusing game of cat and mouse with various mobsters and trippy dippy hippies.

This one and only attempt at film direction from Dave Stewart – he of Eurythmics fame – is cripplingly boring almost from the very start, and never manages to pick itself up even at the climax stage. The main problem, surprisingly enough, isn’t Stewart’s direction or even the All Saints’ acting, but the languid and uneventful screenplay from writers Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais (who, remarkably, once brought us TV classics such as ‘The Likely Lads’ and ‘Porridge’).

In a way, this is a brave move from the three female leads, who go against the soulless safety of the cheesy pop market by appearing in a film where they don’t always look their best and there’s a considerable amount of violence, nudity and drug use. Indeed, its 18 certificate means that, strictly speaking, the bulk of their fanbase won’t even be allowed to see it. Fortunately, those fans really aren’t missing out on much.

It's Got: James Cosmo in a particularly challenging role, which predominantly involves sitting on a sofa and having a moustache.

It Needs: To cut about half an hour off the running time and have a considerably better plot.

DVD Extras Some trailers. DVD Extras Rating: 1/10

Alternatives:

Performance

Summary

A poorly-written waste of time that even the finest cast in the world would struggle to make interesting.

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