I’m still not entirely sure what to make of this film by – and starring – Rebecca Arnold. I can’t decide if it was just god-awful or ahead of its time, but I’m erring on the side of god-awful…
Whatever it was, I’m not used to having documentaries during which the narrator, filmmaker and main protagonist bursts into song at the drop of a hat. And again, I’m not sure if it was cute or vomit inducing. I guess it depends on your opinion of what a documentary should be, and indeed of Arnold herself.
It was certainly original, I’ll give it that, but there again, lots of things are ‘original’, but it doesn’t make them good by default. The whole premise of this show was based on materialism and desperation, so it’s somewhat difficult to buy into such loud-and-proud shallowness, or at least, it was for me.
We’d all like to marry a millionaire but the fact is, most of us don’t. And why? Well, old romantics that we are, we tend to marry for love, or a facsimile of it that’s acceptable to us, but in making this programme, Rebecca eschewed such niceties and went instead for the concept of luring a rich bloke. She did however add the caveat that he should be good looking and pleasant, so yet more evidence of shallowness in the good looking criteria.
And the fact is, when we first saw Arnold in her London flat, she didn’t appear that “broke”, despite claiming she is in almost the film’s first breath. However, taking it on faith that the way to Rebecca’s heart is through a joint and heavily laden bank account, we saw her embark on making her dream of rich matrimonial heaven a reality.
Her encounters with rich men included a 58 year old biking enthusiast – motorbiking that is – via the website sugardaddie.com and a wealthy banker in Cannes, but none of her hopeful trysts panned out and we, and Rebecca, were left with yet more woe-is-me song writing and performing.
It did rapidly become evident however that her heart wasn’t in it and the subject matter of the film was only the vehicle with which to transport to air her dubious filmmaking talents rather than a serious attempt to land a rich husband.
I simply can’t take seriously someone who bursts into song while presenting a pseudo-sincere documentary. And I hope it doesn’t catch on; can you imagine settling down for half an hour in the company of say, Alistair Stewart, only to have him parlay into song the latest deaths on the road figures?
Overall, this was the kind of programme you might watch the last ten minutes of while waiting for whatever’s showing after it and sort of smile at its oddness, but you wouldn’t bother catching up with it on 4oD. The promised ‘humour’ didn’t really transpire and I wasn’t at all convinced by any of it. It might have worked had it been written rather differently and presented as a sketch perhaps, but as a First Cut film, it left rather much to be desired.