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Mad Cows  

Starring: Anna Friel, Joanna Lumley, Greg Wise

There was a lot of publicity circling this film whilst it was being produced, with interviews on mainstream chat shows and the like, but then it failed to get a cinema release and very quietly turned up on video.

Which should have been warning enough, but on a dull Sunday afternoon with little else to choose, I rented this absolute pile of trash out of my local video shop. And proceeded to waste an hour and a half of my life.

Based on the best selling novel by Kathy Lette's, Mad Cows tells of an Australian woman (Friel) attempting to win the love of her life back (Greg Wise, looking nervous and out of place throughout), but who is then arrested for shoplifting, sent to prison, tricked in to giving her child up for adoption and then forced to escape, find her child and Wise again.

Almost so bad that it's good, but not quite, the film's plot moves at such a fast pace that it's very easy to lose track of what is actually going on, especially if you find yourself bored and uninterested in the film's events as I certainly did.

Anna Friel is perhaps the most irritating lead character that British film has ever seen, selfish, whining throughout, and completely unsympathetic. Joanna Lumley remains hopelessly stereotyped as a piece of rich totty, and Greg Wise, well, it's doubtful if he'll ever work again after the terrible performance he gives here.

There's also a collection of rather tragically acted cameo's in the film, including appearances from Mohammad Al Fayed and Noel Gallagher, which, in attempting to make the film seem hip, cool and modern results in just making it even more absurd.

But the real problem with Mad Cows is that it's all so ludicrous and unbelievable. Friel being sent to prison for just stealing a pack of frozen peas is ridiculous, and her escape from prison even more so.

None of the characters are remotely believable, or likeable for that matter, and the supposedly stylish camerawork only serves in making the film look even more nonsensical.

So, all in all, with Mad Cows you've got a terrible plot, even worse acting, a desperately unfunny script and utterly useless direction, which all adds up to making it a candidate for one of the worst films ever made.

Alex Finch

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