Five things it’s worth knowing about Run For Your Wife

Friday January 4th 2013


With middle-age titans A Good Day to Die Hard and This Is 40 set to be the only major studio films competing for box office glory this Valentine’s Day, the field is wide open for a hip, young gunslinger to take advantage of the UK’s date movie crowd. And who could possibly be younger, hipper or more potentially gun-slinging than Danny Dyer — Britain’s foremost Renaissance man?

Run For Your Wife, adapted by British playwright Ray Cooney from his own hit 1983 West End show, stars Dyer (in his first comedic role since Severance) alongside TV presenter Denise van Outen, Girls Aloud singer Sarah Harding, Homebase salesman Neil Morrissey and human being Kellie Shirley. It opens February 14th and here are five things you may be interested to know:

1. Hollywood couldn’t have it

According to the Daily Mail, Cooney at one point made the following bold claim:

‘During the next five years three draft screenplays (of varying quality), were penned by Hollywood writers, several ‘star’ actors purported to be interested and budgets proposed ranging from $10million to $25 million! So, when Fox asked me for a further year’s option I, (very politely!) said “No, thank you. I’ll set it in London, have a go at the screenplay myself and have in mind a budget whereby those involved might possibly see a profit.” So, despite further approaches for the film rights, I have come up with what my colleagues all think is a terrific screenplay.’

I can’t decide why, but I’m certain — CERTAIN — that when he says ‘star actors’, he really means John Cusack.

2. It has two, almost identical, posters

I’d love to have been in the room the moment when somebody in the marketing department of ‘Ballpark Film Distributors’ decided to a) swap the photo of Danny Dyer grinning like a maniac for one of him looking like he’s about to lamp Sarah Harding, b) remove Kellie Shirley’s name from the cast list, c) add an exclamation point and speech marks (but no attribution) to the oddly ungrammatical quote ‘Best of British’ and d) add a trendy QR code.

3. It has some genuinely amazing cameos

Among the film’s many stars: Andrew Sachs, Cliff Richard, Prunella Scales, Ray Winstone, Dennis Waterman, Rolf Harris, Maureen Lipman and — I shit you not — Dame Judi Dench, who lands the coveted role of ‘Bag Lady’. Here’s praying that this never came to fruition during the film’s shoot.

4. It’s definitely British

Watch this baffling VT package shot outside a screening of the film in Soho’s swanky Courthouse Hotel and see if you can count how many times the words ‘Great Britain’ are said in a way that implies that the ‘great’ means good instead of large. Plus! An especially ringing endorsement of our man Danny: “He’s really versatile because he’s usually the tough guy.”

5. They’re having the premiere at the massive Odeon in Leicester Square

On Tuesday 5th February, for one night only, London’s 1683-seat übercinema will play host to the world premiere of Run For Your Wife, and incredibly tickets can be yours for just £30 a head. I would hope that the previous four points have made it patently clear that this is a bargain, but if not, this video of Denise van Outen lip-syncing to Sarah Harding’s theme song from the film (‘hard to explain that you love them the same / so you live your life / run for your wife’) should do the trick. Or five seconds spent staring at this exquisite piece of slapstick horseplay from Dyer: