Mike Leigh's film explores a form of male self-loathing manifesting itself in misogynist insults and violence. When Johnny (Thewlis), an out-of-work twenty-something given to manic rants and rough sex, visits ex-girlfriend Louise (Sharp) in London, it's hard to know whether or not he aims to persuade her to return with him to Manchester. Getting stoned and sleeping with her spaced-out flatmate Sophie (Cartlidge) is unlikely to endear her to such a prospect, as is his sudden decision to roam the streets of the capital, waxing philosophical to anyone he meets. But is he any worse than Jeremy (Cruttwell), a smooth sadist who claims a landlord's right to invade the girls' house and subject them to sexual humiliation? Hilarious, but sometimes hard to stomach, Leigh's picaresque tale is his most troubling and intriguing work since Meantime; it's also by far his most cinematic. The cast is outstanding - Thewlis, in particular, whose virtuoso performance gives the film its cruel energy, wit and power.
Cast and crew