MOVIE REVIEW: Absolutely Fabulous

The British Situational Comedy comes to the big screen. Edina and Pats have come to a point in their lives where they haven’t changed at all but the world around them has moved on. When Kate Moss leaves her Public Relations company and needs new representation it’s occurs to Edina that she must get Kate on her books straight away to make herself relevant again. While trying to get Kate’s attention she knocks her into the river Thames and the former supermodel is believed to have died. This causes Edina and Pats to flee England trying to escape justice and the bad press.

The one thing that I have to say is that you have to know about the sitcom before going in to see this film. If you don’t then you’ll be lost completely for the most part, although it wouldn’t take that much to catch up, knowing who is who and why they are how they are, you’d miss most of the jokes that have transferred from the TV show.

The cast from the TV show have come back to reprise their roles again and its a nice thing that they have. Even June Whitfield returns as Edina’s long-suffering and little caring Mother. Jennifer Saunders as Edina believes that the world owes her everything for her doing very little to nothing, she jumps on every fad out there and demands attention for it. Pats is played by Joanna Lumely a fashion magazine big shot who barely works, smokes a lot, and is always in need of some champagne. The adult in the whole situation is Saffron, Edina’s daughter, who is trying to raise her own teenage daughter and her Mother. She often doesn’t know which is the bigger child to manage.

Again if you know anything about the characters from the TV show you’ll be better served for this. It’s not the funniest comedy on the market but as a fan of the show it is nice for to see them in a bigger adventure. The amount of cameo appearances from celebrities and fashion industry people, along with Lulu and Baby Spice Emma Bunton, is overwhelming at times. It feels like Zoolander did upon its release, the in jokes with the Fashion people are strong and if you know who these people are in the real world it will help you along. This is the films greatest asset and biggest downfall. Like Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back you can be lost if you don’t know the previous interactions of certain characters and the in jokes go right over your head.

As conversions go it’s not that bad, it does what a feature-length version of the show should do, it takes the much bigger budget and puts the characters on a bigger stage. Saunders also wrote the script and produced the film too, and I have a soft spot for her and her comedy partner Dawn French, who have given some of the best movie parodies of modern times in their own TV show. There are many chances for the film to have more laughs but you watch them swing and miss a fair few times. I chuckled along with the film and remembered that I must watch the show again. Saunders manages to show love for the fashion industry while showing the strange and silly nature of the business at the same time. She also takes a little swipe at modern life and society, our relationship to celebrity, and uses the characters from the show in ways that make sense. Some of the cameo performances are a little bit cringeworthy but then you’ve people like Bunton, Lulu, John Hamm, Celia Imrie, and the great Kathy Burke who come along and put that stupid smile on your face.

I am a fan of this series, the over the top manner of the show just got to me in a time of too little good comedies, and Saunders and Co. know how to exploit slapstick comedy. It is a film for fans of the show and more laughs go to waste than hit home. But if this is the final bow of the cult hit then it will fit alongside the sitcom dvd collection on my shelf with pride. It will sit happily next to the Porridge big screen adaptation and remind us that we laughed at the original show.

Director: Mandie Fletcher
Writer: Jennifer Saunders
Stars: Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley, Jane Horrocks

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