Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie

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Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Review


Nearly 25 years after the sitcom debuted, Edina and Patsy arrive on the big screen to continue their drunken antics, although without the usual enthusiastic laugh-track everything feels eerily muted. Thankfully, there's still a lot of fun to be had, including well-aimed jabs at celebrity culture. Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley are still hilarious in their signature roles. And it's hard to get too worried about the limp plot when every scene is packed with amusing cameo appearances.

With her PR agency fading and her money spent on expanding her home, Edina (Saunders) discovers that her credit cards are "broken" and her champagne fridge is empty. So she and her pal Patsy (Lumley) set out to make some cash. After failing to sell her memoirs, Edina sets out to woo Kate Moss as a client. But this goes spectacularly wrong when Kate ends up falling off a balcony into the Thames. Now under investigation, Eddie and Pats flee to the South of France to find Patsy's wealthy ex (Barry Humphreys). They're chased by a detective (Robert Webb), who's the boyfriend of Edina's daughter Saffron (Julia Sawalha), whose teen daughter (Indeharna Donaldson-Holness) has run off with them.

Written by Saunders, the script is very loose, bouncing around without much focus before a series of impatient, nonsensical conclusions. Basically, it's little more than a flimsy framework that includes brief scenes for series regulars (including Jane Horrock's airhead assistant, June Whitfield's dotty mum, Celia Imrie's rival PR and Kathy Burke's bulldog editor), plus a few new characters like Chris Colfer's stylist. All of these people have their moments, but never quite emerge as much more than comedy sketch figures. On the other hand, the big-screen format allows Saunders and Lumley to give Edina and Patsy a bit of surprising emotional depth amid the usual slapstick nuttiness.

Since the TV show was always hit or miss, it's no surprise that there are stretches of this movie that barely raise a smile. And director Mandie Fletcher (a veteran of TV comedy from Black Adder to Miranda) keeps things sunny and bright, making the most of the slick London celebrity scene as well as the decadent poshness of the Riviera. Along the way, there are knowing jokes about excessive fashion, red carpet attention-seekers and vacuous TV interviewers. And of course the entire premise is a wicked pastiche of the PR world. So if the movie feels at times like it's drifting to a halt, or if there seems to be a long wait for a laugh-inducing gag, at least the characters still have some bite.

Rich Cline

Watch the trailer for Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie:



Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie

Facts and Figures

Genre: Comedies

Run time: 90 mins

In Theaters: Friday 22nd July 2016

Distributed by: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Production compaines: Fox Searchlight Pictures, BBC Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director: Mandie Fletcher

Producer: , Jon Plowman

Starring: as Edina Monsoon, as Patsy Stone, as Saffron, as Mother, as Bubble, as Claudia Bing, as Catriona, as Magda, Mo Gaffney as Bo, Janette Tough as Huki Muki

Contactmusic


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