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Liar's Autobiography, A (3D): Untrue Story of Monty Python's Graham Chapman


Stars: Voices: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Cameron Diaz, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam, Carol Cleveland

Director: Bill Jones, Ben Timlett, Jeff Simpson

Little of the anarchic joy and originality of the Monty Python shows and film spin-offs permeates this 'untrue' animated biography of the late Graham Chapman who, as the film loses no opportunity to emphasise, was the only homosexual member of the group. It could in fact be labelled 'the Monty Python film BBC2 couldn't show because of its sexual content'.

With mixed success, various animation styles are employed for different episodes in Chapman's life, from his obsession with Biggles and Sigmund Freud (the latter voiced by Cameron Diaz!), his 'education' at Cambridge, his coming to terms with his sexuality, despite a number of 'straight' interventions, and his grim battle against alcoholism and the demon gin.

It's certainly not a film for children or, come to that, many adults, since the bombardment of sexual images rather dulls interest in the subject. 3D adds little to its very limited appeal.

David Quinlan

UK 2012. UK Distributor: Trinity. Colour (unspecified).
82 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 30 Jan 2013