I’ve always had a soft spot for madcap British comedies. Trouble is, when they fall flat they REALLY fall flat, and there’s nothing quite as bad as sitting through a comedy which suffers from insufficient laughter.
For those of you familiar with Wittertainment, Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo’s BBC Five Live movie review show, you’ll know what I mean when I tell you that Ask The Cheat sails through the six laugh test, the benchmark for deciding whether a movie can justifiably be called a comedy.
Brief set up: Ben, admirably played by newcomer Max Abraham, is caught cheating in a maths exam by teacher Ms Bushnell (Nicole Faraday). Rather than dob him in to the authorities, she recruits him to help kidnap her philandering husband Denby (Martin Trenaman) and, as you might expect, things begin to spiral out of control.
Speaking exclusively to OutNewsGlobal, Faraday said, “As ever I loved playing a baddie in this brilliant home grown black comedy..it is very dark at points and a bit close to the bone but all good comedy pushes limits I think.
“I adored working with Max Abraham, rising star who plays my unwilling partner in crime; Martin Trenaman is brilliantly deadpan and daily we would read the latest farfetched script and said ‘we do WHAT????’ and then have to make it work.
“In that respect it was a bit like me getting the scripts on Bad Girls for Snowball…with her car chases and bombs! It was also very flattering that Raza [Mallal, writer and director] wrote the role for me having enjoyed my work on Bad Girls.”
More from Nicole Faraday at the London premiere:
Ask the Cheat – renamed Not By The Book for the American market – makes up for its lack of subtlety with some genuine laugh-out-loud moments, and Nick Moran as Ben’s depressed dad and Jeremy Edwards as a nasty right-wing politician ladle even more British eccentricity into the mix. And if you didn’t think the film was sufficiently bonkers, just wait until the giant dildo and a massive spider make their appearance.
Goodness knows we all need a laugh right now, and Ask the Cheat delivers sniggers, titters and guffaws in spades. I can’t wait to see it again.