Released: 12th April 2018
Directed By: Daisy Aitkens
Starring: David Tennant, Faye Marsay
Reviewed By: Van Connor
It’s difficult to even attempt to reconcile the kind of mind that could feasibly enjoy You, Me & Him – a comedy that manages to not only be gobsmackingly devoid of laughter, not only reduce Ben Elton’s woefully misjudged Maybe, Baby to the rank of Britain’s second-worst twenty-first century pregnancy comedy, but also takes the opportunity – not once but twice – to gift cherished comic actor Don Warrington the single most jaw-droppingly ignorant and out-of-touch moment the LGBT community could possibly envision in a supposedly “woke” industry. Put it this way, if You, Me & Him were someone’s actual baby, they’d not be remiss in considering handing it over to social services and doing a runner.
The “hilarity” begins with fortyish office worker Olivia deciding to face off against her biological clock by beginning fertility treatments without the knowledge of her lackadaisical younger partner Alex (Faye Marsay), who responds in kind by proceeding to drink herself senseless and spend the night with newly divorced neighbour John (David Tennant). Before you know it, both women are pregnant, and Olivia’s dream of the perfect two-parent one-child family has devolved into three and two, but first there’s the whacky hijinks of pregnancy to get through.
To be fair, the misfires begin almost instantly with the assertion of eternal comic foil Lucy Punch being cast in the seemingly sympathetic “everywoman” lead. Parlaying potentially relatable urban neuroses into what’s instantly the least-investible comedic lead this side of Freddy Got Fingered, it’s something of an unfathomable achievement that she’s unquestionably the most likeable presence to be found – somehow still effortlessly more endearing than Tennant’s nauseating hipster neighbour and Faye Marsay’s frankly mystifying… younger… painter? Conceptual artist? To be honest, Marsay’s role here is so scattershot and ill-defined beyond “slacker” that You, Me & Him could feasibly whip out the revelation that she was secretly a Skywalker and not only would it make about as much sense as anything else as regards the character, it’d come with all the same impact of any other plot point on offer.
You see, You, Me & Him wants, predominantly, to be a comedy. The trouble there is, well gee, it’s not very funny. When it then attempts to add some genuine punch to its story later in the game, it comes despite no earned payoff that would have otherwise been garnered through laughter and subsequent emotional investment. You don’t care. Which is fitting, in a sense, as nobody on screen at any given point (bar possibly Simon Bird – who can now wipe his turd-shower from The Inbetweeners 2 off as the most degrading thing on his resume) seems to be present for anything beyond picking up a cheque. Tennant’s basically amusing himself, Marsay seems as baffled as the audience as to who she’s really supposed to be playing, and Punch may well work when you surround her with otherwise endearing talent (she makes for a great antagonist, typically), but is so intolerable a presence in any kind of sympathetic capacity that it undermines any noble intent you might perceive You, Me & Him to feasibly have.
A bonafide contender for the worst cinematic offering of 2018 so far, You, Me & Him makes an unintentional argument for Jack & Sarah to be reissued and admonished by the BFI purely for not being a patronising, unfunny and borderline antagonising baby-related cinematic affair. The debut feature of actress Daisy Aitkens – following two shorts – You, Me & Him utterly squanders the opportunity afforded it by the frankly gigantic cultural strides of the past two decades to offer the gay community not a cinematic statement of any note, but tauntingly dangle the prospect in front of it instead.