(director/writer: Nick Clark; screenwriter: Tom Swanston; cinematographer: Hugh Lambert; editors: Nick Clark/Tom Swanston; music: James McIlwraith; cast: Keir Howeld (Jeda), Jonathan Rhodes (Monty Bellaruse), Keeley Mills (Stacey), Jackson Wright (Weazel), William Gregory (Tim), Charles Armstrong (Mr. Flemming), Tim Bartholomew (Ben Bellaruse), Harold Gasnier (Tim’s father), Charles Mayor (The Cardinal); Runtime: 81; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Tom Swanston; Film Threat DVD; 2003)

“Couldn’t get excited over its equal treatment skewering of radicals, liberals and conservatives.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

The Ultimate truth is a silly Brit comedy (hoping to be another Monthy Python) that I found vaguely interesting but couldn’t get excited over its equal treatment skewering of radicals, liberals and conservatives. Writer-director Nick Clark and co-writer Tom Swanston keep the satire hopping with cartoonish characters acting over-the-top in their search for truth. The sophomoric hijinks might appeal more to a cultish bent audience than it did to me.

The story focuses around Jeda (Keir Howeld), an unemployed twentysomething Aussie transplant who suffers from a learning disability because he was hit on the arm with a boomerang. He now lives in rural Hampshire with his lady friend Stacey (Keeley Mills). Jeda’s quest for change in lifestyle starts after an incident at the Lady Dragon pub, where the unthinking lad got into an altercation with the drunken pompous wanker Monty (Jonathan Rhodes) who acted like a perv in front of the couple. Feeling depressed after lectured to by the police, his idler friend Weazel convinces Jeda to start a radical political party similar to the Green Party. The two uneducated party members recruit articulate teenager Tim (who speaks as if he were in a Shakespearean play) to be the brains of their party, and in a drunken stupor they name their environmental activist party Verdeant Thrust–not knowing or caring about the spelling mistake. Jeda and his party members are invited by a young businessman to mingle with the other yuppie guests at his house party, as he wants to see if these radicals will give him a good laugh and spice things up. The Cardinal, the cousin of the rich host, is a character who leads protest movements against a housing project and inspired Tim to come out of the political closet by uttering the profound statement that “Freedom is Truth.” He tells Jeda in strict confidence that the ultimate truth is about “man and his pecker.” This leads the way for Jeda to start thinking about being a uniter instead of a divider and to do all of the following: stop his roughhouse ways, let go of his ambitions to save the world from environmental ruin, and go back to Stacey and patch up their tender relationship.

Aside from the obvious political ribbing, saucy comical moments and all around zaniness, the film was too Brit in its humor to wholly translate to me without something getting lost in the process.

The Ultimate Truth Poster