2009 Running time: 103 Certificate: 18 Rating: 2

Synopsis

The voyeuristic sexual practice of "dogging" is the salacious hook on which this cheeky comedy is hung. An underachieving journalist seeks to make his name by lifting the lid on the dubious penchant for having a quickie with a total stranger in a car park. However, he finds himself falling for a young Geordie student who's also intrigued by this sordid world of anonymous couplings. The cheap thrills are more than matched by the cheap laughs in writer/director Simon Ellis's spiky debut.

Cast

  • Luke Treadaway

  • Kate Heppell

  • Sammy T Dobson

  • Justine Glenton

Review

If a movie must be made about "dogging" - the practice of engaging total strangers in no-strings knee-tramblers in windswept car-parks - then you could do a lot worse than Simon Ellis's Confessions-style sex comedy.

It's not smart or sophisticated but it is - for what it's worth - frank about a taboo world where participants get their kicks by actually having sex or videotape other people get jiggy, normally through the steamed-up window of a motor in a suburban car park.

Wannabe hack Dan (Treadaway) thinks he's found the perfect subject for a lifestyle feature - the Tyneside dogging scene - and persuades his cousin Rob (Riddell) to introduce him to this bizarre backstreet phenomenon.

While searching the specialised web chatrooms for the next "meet" he makes the acquaintance of a "Horny Geordie Lass" who is - in reality - Laura (Heppell), a virginal student with an over-protective father seeking internet thrills.

Writer-director Ellis embraces his sordid subject with such gusto that it makes for rather a bracing watch, which is more than can be said for - on the face of the evidence here - a dogging session at a Gateshead multi-storey.

The acting is more enthusiastic than accomplished (Riddell's randy estate agent appealingly channels Gazza through Robin Askwith) and the script is peppered with some decent jokes - certainly more than the turgid Lesbian Vampire Killers.

However, a premise this barking was never really going to work - Heppell and Treadaway's romance plays out like a Byker Grove tryst relocated to a Hartlepool knocking shop - and some of the all-too-authentic night vision scenes will struggle to find an audience shocked by EastEnders.

Still, there is some skewed pleasure to be had in the knowledge that, according to this, Geordies casually rate dogging alongside ten-pin bowling, ice-skating and bad football as a realistic weekend leisure option.

This from the city that brought us shipbulding and brown ale. Howay!

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