Monkey Reviews

Through the Eyes of A Chimp

Monkey Reviews
April 16, 2007

“Dirty Filthy Love” – Compulsively Counting Chimps

Many of the critics dubbed this movie as a “Romantic Comedy” which usually the monkey steers clear of. But because of the theme I was intrigued and was willing to take the risk. It didn’t hurt that is was British given they tend to do movies and T.V. well. I wasn’t disappointed. In fact I was surprised at the depth and the compassion that seemed to ground the overall movie and so, while this movie has romantic and comedic elements, by no means is “Dirty Filthy Love” only that.

Mark, the main character, has lost his high-status job as well as his wife; they are undergoing a “trial separation”. Most people, who are fairly stable, don’t fare well under those conditions but Mark discovers, while under stress, that he is also Obsessive Compulsive and to complicate things even further he also has Tourette’s. The film maker could have easily resorted to slapstick, over the top humour or caricatured the main character but he dovetails humorous moments with a true picture of this tragic disease in such a way that you are both laughing “with” the characters as well as deeply empathizing with their situation. On the other extreme the movie could have gone the politically correct educational route where you find out about the disease in a detached and clinical way.

Because “Dirty Filthy Love” manages to rise above both slapstick and pedantic story-telling, it is a movie that is deeply human allowing the viewer to step inside the OCD world. You end up loving the characters not for what they could be if they weren’t suffering such a disability but you end up loving them for who they are. I think that’s why the title is so evocative – of course it relates to loving those who suffer from mental illness but it also relates to all of us who discover that love requires suffering and being willing to enter the muck of life with another person.