Time Out says
Mon Feb 13 2006Or ‘Carry On Up My Grand Canal’. To be charitable, you have to take this romp about the near-legendary lover as tongue-in-cheek, almost parodic: a cozzy comedy with a dash of send-up action in the form of madcap chases and token-gesture swashbuckling. Despite location filming, Venice often looks artificially generated (but possibly Venice always does): again you’re not sure how much is intended seriously, how much ironically, and how much is desperately floundering in need of a consistent attitude.
Our irresistible hero (Heath Ledger) falls in lust and love, passes himself off as someone else (Oliver Platt, would you believe?) and is pursued by infatuated women and Jeremy Irons, looking out of place as a grim inquisitor determined to make a moral example of the sinner. Plenty of good ingredients but the result is raw, or at best half-baked. Platt’s lardy nouveau riche manages a nerdy English accent; and stand-up comic Omid Djalili is a confident Sancho Panza-type sidekick. Ledger is a class act; his charisma and intelligence deserve better than this crassly scripted, cornily conceived and hamfistedly executed doodle on baroque themes. The baroque soundtrack is great but ‘Barry Lyndon’ it isn’t. Helen McCrory’s touching appearances top and tail the action, hinting at the style that the rest of the movie seeks so energetically that it bellyflops into the Grand Canal.
Fri Feb 17, 2006