out of Five
Running time: 90
Enjoyably silly, occasionally hilarious British sex comedy that succeeds thanks to lively comic performances and an exuberant nature that just about compensates for its flaws.
What's it all about?
Tom Riley and Tom Burke play film students Joe and Baggy, who decide to make a full-length feature as their end-of-term project, despite the fact that their pretentious tutor (Mackenzie Crook) has stipulated that it should only be two minutes long. They secure funding from seedy Soho producer Doug Perry (the ubiquitous Eddie Marsan) but there's a catch: Perry insists that they sex up the script and guarantee the participation of Candy Fiveways (Carmen Electra), the world's number one porn star.
The performances are extremely likeable. Tom Riley, in particular, combines impeccable comic timing with an infectious charm that really comes across on screen, whilst Michelle Ryan (Zoe from EastEnders) provides both eye candy and intelligence as Joe's producing partner-slash-love interest.
In addition, Carmen Electra gives a remarkably game performance that doesn't require too much actual acting and there's hilarious comic support from Mackenzie Crook and Eddie Marsan, as well as scene-stealing comic turns from Felicity Montagu and Philip Jackson as Joe's oblivious parents.
It's clear that I Want Candy desperately wants to be thought of as the British American Pie and whilst the majority of the gross-out comedy falls flat, some of the verbal gags are genuinely inspired. Similarly, the jokes come thick and fast, so for every moment that doesn't work, there's usually a big laugh right behind it.
However, the film suffers somewhat from being a sex comedy with no actual nudity or sex in it. Worse, it commits the cardinal sin of implied nudity, wherein the characters are allowed to see and have comedy reactions to nudity but the audience are not.
I Want Candy may be silly but its lively direction and strong comic performances ensure that it's perfectly enjoyable in a leave-your-brain-at-the-door kind of way.