Based on the popular television character played by Leigh Francis comes Keith Lemon: The Film. Keith Lemon has moved to London to make a fortune from his invention Securipole. While at an invention convention he is given a new mobile phone that “has no buttons.” With help of The Fixer, Archimedes (Verne Troyer) Lemon markets the phone by sticking a lemon logo on the back and overnight becomes a billionaire. Corrupted by the money and fame, he sacrifices his past relationships to live the high life, unaware that disaster is just around the corner.
The protagonist of a film should be someone who you relate to. They should be characters that you get behind whether hereos or anti-heroes, popular or underdog. The first issue with Keith Lemon is that he’s so thoroughly unlikable that you want him to fail. At everything. All the time. This probably wouldn’t be such a problem if the film itself were funny. But it isn’t. At all. At various points it resembles a classless version of The League of Gentlemen or a not-surreal-enough The Mighty Boosh, but in the end it creates its very own brand of relentlessly unfunny ‘comedy.’
There are endless cameos from the Spice Girls to Gary Barlow, Ronan Keeting to Verne Troyer to David Hasslehoff. There’s even room for previous Leigh Francis parodies Craig David and Scary Spice. Now that’s ego. Each of them adds nothing to the plot, comedy or general direction of the film, and it seems to be a Who’s Who of celebrities that Francis knows. A special mention should go to X-Factor failures Jedwood, arguably the most annoying duo in television history, who actually make better use of their 10 seconds here than Francis manages for the remaining 90 minute running time.
Popular British television shows have a checkered history when it comes to film adaptations with such flops as On the Buses, Kevin and Perry Go Large counter-balanced by The Inbetweeners Movie. Keith Lemon: The Film sits right at the bottom of the pile. There are no laughs, thoroughly unlikable characters and one has to wonder what was the point of even making it in the first place other than to increase the ego of someone who should really know better. Fans of the television show Celebrity Juice might find some laughs in here, but probably not.
Weirdly the only people to come out of the film with anything like credibility are Kelly Brook, who does an, albeit obvious, black widow routine and Paddy McGuinness’ standard routine. Although there’s every chance that by the time you’re halfway through Keith Lemon: The Film you’re so desperate for anything that resembles quality that you’ll latch onto anything. There is part of me that wonders whether Keith Lemon: The Film is some elaborate joke by Leigh Francis to produce a film that so debases celebrity culture and the current popularity of a certain fruit-named smartphone that it’s actually a piece of genius post-modern deconstruction. Then there’s a fart gag or an extended ejaculation scene, and I conclude, probably not.