Dir: Ed Bye. UK. 2000. 83 mins.
Prod Co: Tiger Aspect Productions. Int'l sales: Icon Entertainment International. Prods: Peter Bennett-Jones, Jolyon Symonds, Harry Enfield. Exec prods: Bruce Davey, Ralph Kamp, Barnaby Thompson. Scr: Harry Enfield, David Cummings. DoP: Alan Almond. Prod des: Tom Brown. Ed: Mark Wybourn. Mus: Various. Main cast: Harry Enfield, Kathy Burke, Rhys Ifans, Laura Fraser, James Fleet, Louisa Rix.
Stretched from a TV show sketch to a feature-length comedy, Kevin & Perry won't disappoint the many fans of its unruly teenage protagonists. Hefty promotion by UK distributor Icon and a blitz of media activity by the stars should ensure that it confidently connects with its target audience. General audiences however will be justifiably wary of a film that indulges its obsession with bodily fluids and raging hormones to a quite revolting degree. The international market that welcomed American Pie is more likely to be bewildered than bewitched by the appeal of middle-aged Enfield and Cannes prize-winner Burke larking around as tumescent lads.
Although drenched in cheap gags about embarrassing erections, projectile vomit, floating turds and exploding, puss-filled zits, Kevin & Perry is just marginally more palatable than the not dissimilar Guest House Paradiso because of its spot-on observations of the adolescent male condition. Oppressed by their virginity and constantly in conflict with exasperated parents, the teenage odd couple are painfully recognisable as a comically exaggerated version of everyday reality.
The perfunctory plot allows the duo to carry on abroad as they descend on clubbers paradise Ibiza in search of sun, sex and the celebrity glow of boorish DJ Eye Ball Paul (Ifans). Accompanying parents may cramp their style but hope, along with everything else, springs eternal. Although unlikely to overcome adult resistance, Kevin & Perry does make some concessions to a wider viewership in the endearing characters of Kevin's long-suffering parents who commit the unpardonable crimes against teenage sensibilities of knowing the words to Oasis songs and enjoying a vigorous sex life. Gamely portrayed by James Fleet and Louis Rix, they almost steal the show.