Dirty Filthy Love (2004) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Dirty Filthy Love is an offbeat romantic comedy about a man named Mark who has both Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Tourette Syndrome, and is attempting to survive in the world after he loses his job and his wife. Given the nature of his OCD, Mark then focuses his obsessions on his estranged wife, stalking her constantly. His best friend sees the increasingly erratic behavior, but feels helpless and scared when he sees an occasional mind-boggling glimpse into Mark's troubled thought process.

At first, Mark doesn’t really know what’s wrong with him, only that his habits are not shared by the world. For example, he's terrified of sitting down too quickly, is compelled to take the stairs in a bizarre sequence, and tends to wash his hands until they bleed. With the additional strain of his divorce and unemployment, he is also starting to twitch uncontrollably, yelp like a dog, and swear out loud with alarming frequency. He is fortunate enough to be noticed by Charlotte, a woman who is dealing fairly successfully with her own OCD, and who runs a self-help group for her fellow sufferers. She recognizes the nature of Mark's mental state, integrates him into the group, and allows Mark to see that he is not alone in the world, because the group of colorful characters provides mutual psychological support to its members away from an outside world where their obsessions are ridiculed.

In dealing with these themes, it would be easy to be maudlin, or satirical, or condescending, but the script does none of that, or at least not much, simply because one of the co-authors suffers from OCD and was able to use his own experiences to ground the film in objective reality. In fact, if the film had stuck to OCD, I might declare it brilliant, but the author didn't choose to stick to the single problem that he knew well, instead opting to layer in Tourette as well. The character was just given too much psychological weight to bear in this story. His additional Tourette problem meant that he was wandering through genteel public places barking, twitching, and shouting "cunt". The other OCD sufferers in the film were able to appear more or less normal for long periods of time, despite their eccentricities, but Mark ended up behaving like one of those crazy street corner Jeremiahs who inhabit most large cities. If Mark had been more like the others in his group sessions, the script could not only have dealt less melodramatically with the individual character, but could also have allowed the author to stick closely to his own experiences and thus develop a more empathetic audience identification with the problems of OCD sufferers in general.

In general, I found this to be a good movie with a brilliant lead performance from Michael Sheen, but the character's combination of problems meant that every stranger treated him like a lunatic, and that tended to change his story from pathos to bathos. The script would have done more by doing less.



  • No significant features
  • widescreen letterboxed (not enhanced for 16x9 screens)



Anastasia Griffith showed her breasts in a sex scene.

Michael Sheen showed his bum in one scene, and his penis in a distant overhead shot of him in the tub.

The Critics Vote ...

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The People Vote ...

  • IMDB summary. IMDb voters score it 7.3/10. That is a good score, and it is well merited.
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, it's a C+, an affecting look at a deeply troubled person and his interaction with those around him. It doesn't have a big audience crossover factor, but should be appreciated by people who appreciate moves which deal with serious subjects in a realistic way.

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