14 October 2007 | bob the moo
Has good moments but loses its way and is not as sharp as it really needed to be
Cherps is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as "verb. (slang) behave playfully in a sexually enticing manner". The word could also be defined with a picture of Reggie, who has a son with baby mother Sandra but yet for the last four years with her he has done nothing but mess around with anything that he can get his hands on. Time is taking its toll though and he is finding that, despite all the sex, he is not actually happy not even slightly. Sandra looking for more commitment is only one pressure on him as he tries to get to grips with what life is supposed to mean for him.
The style of this film will have many viewers recalling other films and filmmakers; Spike Lee, Annie Hall, High Fidelity and others all came to mind as I watched the manner of delivery and the material. For the most part the film is a convincing comedy of modern relationships led by Reggie, walking us through the good of his life before having a bit of a crisis as a result of the same. At times it is very good and produces realistic situations and characters. Other times it is equally engaging by having an element of fantasy about it. Problem is that the total delivery doesn't build on these strengths and has too many moments or touches that are basic, off-target or just plain lazy.
It is rarely that funny but it is amusing here and there. If anything it wasn't really the comedy of the piece that I had issues with but rather the way that the more serious character stuff is rolled into it. Too often it clunks across the screen and is not as sharp or as convincing as I would have liked. It doesn't help that it takes easy narrative routes at times as well, which also results in its losing its quite natural and engaging approach. Dyer works pretty well when he is given the material to do it with, but he cannot totally get to the heart of his character to cover for it when he doesn't. Bridgeman is a good foil to him and although there is an element of romance in her performance, mostly she is the practical woman that her situation would produce in her. In some circles I'm sure Dexter was a sly bit of casting that meant a "name" was supporting the project, however for me he was a terrible addition to the cast and did nothing. He cannot act and his various performances were poor; his Nigerian impression was terrible, his turn as Reggie's dad is weak and his use as a narrative device is pointless and slightly embarrassing. I hate to pick on one man but he is a major failing within the film.
Overall then an OK comedy that has its roots in better films. At times it is amusing and natural but the telling and development of characters and story are not as strong nor as sharp as it needed to be in order to carry off what it is aiming for.