Love, Honour and Obey (2000) starring Jonny Lee Miller, Jude Law, Ray Winstone, Sadie Frost, Kathy Burke, Sean Pertwee, Denise Van Outen, Rhys Ifans, Dominic Anciano, Ray Burdis directed by Dominic Anciano, Ray Burdis Movie Review

Love, Honour and Obey (2000)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Jude Law and Jonny Lee Miller in Love, Honour and Obey

Till Death Do Us Part

Jude and Jonny are life long friends, brought up on the rough streets of North London. Having grown up, Jude goes off to work for his uncle Ray, the boss of one of the meanest gangs in London, where as Jonny ends up in a dead end job, delivering mail. But after coming up with a way to steal credit cards Jonny becomes part of the gang and the romance of being a gang member starts to go to his head. With Ray more interested in his forthcoming wedding, Jonny starts a turf war with a rival South London gang and brings a heap of trouble for himself in doing so.

So from the synopsis you would probably be thinking "Love, Honour and Obey" is a brutal British gangster movie which romanticizes the whole idea of bloody murder. Well you would be wrong; this is a comedy and whilst not really a parody of movies such as "The Krays", it takes a lot of impetuous from such movies for much of the humour. Of course focussing on the theme of gangsters, there is some violence but for 90% of "Love, Honour and Obey" it is laugh out loud British humour. Too be honest the only really dark bit to the movie comes right at the end, the rest is pure comedy.

Rhys Ifans and Sean Pertwee in Love, Honour and Obey

"Love, Honour and Obey" predominantly focuses on the character of Jonny, who has a romanticized ideal of what being a gangster is all about, but when he gets to be part of a gang it doesn't live up to his dreams, so he sets about making it so. As a main theme for a movie it is remarkably enjoyable if not a little slim, but then it does provide a good source for some very clever scenes. But the real emphasis of "Love, Honour and Obey" is the humour and there are very few areas which do not provide a source for a joke or two.

There are also numerous sub plots running through out the movie, from Ray's forthcoming wedding to one of the gang member's problem with sex. These sub plots tie in perfectly to make "Love, Honour and Obey" multi dimensional, but keeping it simple so that there is very little to think about. This is definitely not a case of complexity but perfect simplicity which only asks you sit back and laugh at the jokes rather than get involved with what is going on or to sympathise with any of the characters.

"Love, Honour and Obey" is also quite a quirky movie, from many of the characters having the same name as the actor who is playing them through to a running theme of karaoke singing. This quirky nature definitely makes the movie stand out from the crowd and although not a fan of karaoke the numerous snippets which feature performances from various cast members is hugely enjoyable and surprisingly helps to keep the movie moving along. Plus it has a risque nature with humour coming from sex problems which give us some memorable scenes such as one feature Denise Van Outen and a cucumber.

As for the performances, well they are what I expect from such a movie, at times they are a little OTT, at others they are a little cheesy and at all times quintessentially British but all are amusing and entertaining. There are no real out standing performances either good or bad as they are all on par with each other, which in turn makes "Love, Honour and Obey" all the better as there are no peaks or troughs when it comes to the performances. What is somewhat surprising is the number of well known faces which appear from main characters such as Ray, Jude and Jonny, played by Ray Winstone, Jude Law and Jonny Lee Miller respectively, through to less important parts such as Maureen played by Denise Van Outen and another gang member called Ray, played by Ray Burdis. The well known cast is definitely part of the films charm.

What this all boils down to is that from the mock cockney accents, through to the corny dialogue "Love, Honour and Obey" is exactly what you expect plus it has a plethora of British talent to boot. It may not be on par with big budget productions or the stylized British flicks of Guy Ritchie but it is still hugely enjoyable. Whilst it will never go down in history as a great movie it is one which no doubt will be watched numerous times for many years to come.