Kicked to the curb by the latest in a long string of girlfriends, Chris Waitts wants to discover why he is constantly being dumped. As a matter of course, he decides to film his path to self-discovery. The process involves revisiting all the females in his life, including his mother and myriad exes. The task proves harder than he expects as it turns out that–barring his mother– most of the women think he is a giant douchebag.
He’s not too far off the mark. As a thirty-something, he still lives like a lazy college kid, dressing like a scruffy punk with trash and toys strewn around his apartment. Instead of doing it himself, he even enlists his mom to clean his place before a date, just in case he persuades a lady to come home with him. This might be excusable if he wasn’t so damn irresponsible and undependable.
Not that Waitts isn’t likable– he is. Like a true Brit, he has a dry sense of humor and a healthy talent for self-deprecation. But his inherent lack of common courtesy is appalling. When his ex-girlfriends all turn down his request for an interview, he ambushes them at their homes and offices, much to their horror and embarassment. When he does sit them down for a little face time, he learns insights such as “don’t be a jerk” and “don’t kiss your girlfriend’s mom.”
The sins of his past are not the only demon with which Waitts has to contend. While his personality accounts for the majority of his romantic failures, he also has to conquer problems of the physical variety: namely, erectile dysfunction. When standard psychiatry doesn’t produce concrete results, Waitts tries alternative methods, including Viagra, tantric massage and sex play with a dominatrix. (The “ball whipping” scene is highly amusing.)
Rather than delve beneath the surface, this documentary skates firmly across it, successful at what it aims to be: a comedic look at a slacker love life. The lesson learned here is fairly predictable; though he originally assumed that all his exes were simply crazy, Waitts discovers that dating him is what made them so. However, Waitts’ candor is to be admired, and though you won’t discover anything revolutionary, “A Complete History of My Sexual Failures” remains a fun romp.