The Odd Job
The blurb on the back:
'Got any odd jobs?'
Originally written by Bernard McKenna as a TV play starring Ronnie Barker and David Jason (as part of the ITV Six Dates With Barker series in 1971), this was revived in 1978 as a movie with Graham Chapman taking over Barker’s role and – despite the intended casting of Keith Moon – with Jason returning. Unfortunately, what was a neat little idea as a half-hour programme was slow and lethargic at feature-length.
For what it’s worth, Jason plays an odd job man hired by a man whose wife has left him and who wants to die. But she’s since returned and now he doesn’t want to die. That’s it. And hilarious set-pieces should result. Only they don’t. Jason is decent enough in one of his early roles, all twitching discomfort, but Chapman was never a good enough actor to sustain a movie as the main star.
The novelization, unsurprisingly, is even less entertaining. McKenna’s screenplay was adapted by Colin Bostock-Smith – soon to become a mainstay of TV comedy writing with Who Dares Wins, Alas Smith & Jones &c. – and by now the thin material was being stretched beyond endurance.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: 1/5
HIPNESS QUOTIENT: 2/5