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  Can You Keep It Up For a Week? On The Job
Year: 1974
Director: Jim Atkinson
Stars: Jeremy Bulloch, Neil Hallett, Jill Damas, Joy Harington, Sue Longhurst, Olivia Munday, Mark Singleton, Jenny Cox, Venicia Day, Richard O'Sullivan, Valerie Leon, Wendy Wax, Sarah Frampton, Stephanie Marrian, Lindsay Marsh, Sally Harrison
Genre: Comedy, Sex, TrashBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: Gil (Jeremy Bulloch) is in bed with his girlfriend Annette (Jill Damas) when the conversation gets round to marriage. He is very keen on getting hitched, but she isn't because she doesn't think he can hold down a job, something he has to admit he has trouble doing. He does tell her that his latest job at the garage is something he has high hoped for, and surely in a few months he'll be manager and in a couple of years' time he'll own his personal chain of garages, but she thinks that is a lot of hot air, although she tells him in the sweetest manner possible. When he returns to work the next day, it would appear Annette has a point...

Can You Keep It Up For a Week? was one of those British sex comedies that were a huge success in their day, making use of the new screen permissiveness, but now are hardly mentioned when it comes to listing the giants of that decade's cinematic achievements. And when you watch it, it's easy to see why, as there isn't one decent laugh in it, which goes to show you not all of these efforts had the right mix of humour as Confessions of a Window Cleaner, and in fact most of them provided poor value if comedy was what you were looking for. Alternatively, if it was nudity you were looking for, then step right up.

A lot of people were looking for nudity at the time, and they did indeed flock to see this, but now it has more historical value. Future Boba Fett Jeremy Bulloch (who has an ill-advised full frontal nude scene) plays the character of Gil as a well-meaning lummox, but perhaps this would have been more entertaining if he'd tackled the role as further in the manner of the obvious inspiration, the television sitcom sensation Frank Spencer. Some Mothers Do 'ave 'em was hitting massive heights of success, and depicted Michael Crawford's protagonist as an accident-prone fool who was trying to hold down a steady job.

At the end of every episode, Frank would have to look for something else, and so it is with Gil, only when he joins the agency Annette works for he winds up being sent to the homes of young ladies who want nothing more than to whip off their clothes and seduce him. Imagine the comic mileage that the actual Frank Spencer would have got out of these situations, but Bulloch has evidently been instructed to play it more or less straight and let the script fashion these muddles for Gil to get into. Therefore he works as a cleaner where the housewife employing him pretends to get her toe caught in the bath tap, getting him to help her just at the moment her husband gets home, of course.

Next he goes to help at a doctor's surgery where he ends up not only being taken advantage of a nubile patient, but the suddenly turned on doctor as well (not very professional of her), and then at psychologist Sue Longhurst's boudoir where she tests her aphrodisiac on him. You may be thinking, well, he can't want to get married that much if he's sleeping around, but the script is oblivious to these double standards and the meaning behind the title is a bet that Annette makes with Gil: if he can keep employed for a week, she'll wed him. Although as she continually catches him in the act with other women, she must be a titanically understanding fiancée. It all ends up with a pool party (location provided by Holiday Inn, according to the credits) where Gil is chased by Richard O'Sullivan playing a limp-wristed and camp photographer, then saves Annette from the attentions of their boss (Neil Hallett). None of this is much good, but it barely registers anyway. Music by Dave Quincy.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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