Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Review 

Director: Mandie Fletcher

Starring: Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley, Julia Sawalha, Jane Horrocks, Indeyarna Donaldson-Holness. 

The Overview

Blamed for a major incident at an uber fashionable launch party, Edina (Saunders) and Patsy (Lumley) become entangled in a media storm and are relentlessly pursued by the paparazzi. Fleeing penniless to the glamorous playground of the super-rich, the French Riviera, they hatch a plan to make their escape permanent and live the high life forever more!

The Good

It’s been about 4 years since we last saw Eddy and Patsy’s exploits on screen, and a great deal more since their heyday in the early 90s, and now they finally make their big screen debut. 

Trying to make the transition from a sitcom to a movie rarely works, as the rather dull Dad’s Army movie proved earlier this year. We’ll get to more of this later, and will focus on the good for now!

The premise of this movie is very funny, and indeed the first 30 minutes are pretty solid. The storyline is absolutely ludicrous but perfectly suits the outrageous Eddy and Patsy, and it’s in these opening scenes that they’re really at their best. Lumley in particular has still got the magic touch and is an absolute delight to watch. 

It’s not quite laugh a minute, and raises chuckles more than it does belly laughs, but where the first part is fairly acceptable it all falls apart pretty quickly…

The Bad 

Once it gets out of the sitcom length comfort blanket that is the first 30 minutes, the cracks really start to show. It’s so difficult for a sitcom to go to a full length feature as quite often the premise is not enough to fill out a 90 minute movie. Frustratingly there is a very funny 30 minute episode in this film, which with some trimming and a neat little conclusion would be great. There are overwhelmingly large portions of this movie where I barely raised a smile let alone a chuckle and that’s just not acceptable for any comedy. 

The film never stops trying to be funny but sadly it stops making you laugh very abruptly and it grew incredibly tiresome by the end. The plot was flimsier than a wet paper bag, and the ending was completely unsatisfying. It almost feels like they piled all the efforts into making the first part funny, then let the characters amble and shamble their way through the rest of it before realising, “oh crap, this needs to end now! Ok sure here’s an ending. Of sorts.”

The characters are still very funny but sadly as was the case with Zoolander 2, the gratuitously unnecessary cameos were a total distraction, and aside from Kate Moss’ role, they added very little to the plot. It all feels like one massive ego trip for a parade of increasingly vacuous celebrities, who crop up for 5 seconds and then run off into the sunset with their pay check, believing that they’re possibly relevant once again. It’s also really off-putting that some of the cameos are celebrities playing characters. Rebel Wilson shows up as an air stewardess at one point, and when we’ve already seen an endless hit parade of celebrities appearing as themselves, it really takes you out of the scene to see someone very well known playing a part rather than themselves. 

The Verdict 

I saw this movie so you don’t have to. Big fans of the show might really enjoy this, but it lacks all of the relentlessly funny energy that the show had, and simply gives up once the fizz runs out. Tediously unfunny, and sadly drab rather than fab. 

Agree with everything I’ve said, or am I a totally misguided idiot who has got it all wrong? Let me know in the comments below! 

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8 comments

  1. I felt the same way that the first part was slightly better than the second half. I couldn’t believe they managed to make the plot even more ridiculous than Kate Moss being knocked in the water!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was laughing more than others. Maybe I’m weird? Disappointed I didn’t laugh more tbh.
    I don’t really like going to the cinema. Films like this are perfect for me. A longer length version of the sitcom and nice and light hearted and easy to watch.

    Liked by 1 person

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