Benjamin Maio Mackay
Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie - 3 Stars
Sweetie, darling they’re back, bigger than ever and with a budget!
Edina and Patsy are still oozing glitz and glamor, living the high life they are accustomed to; shopping, drinking and clubbing their way around London's trendiest hot-spots. Blamed for a major incident at an uber fashionable launch party, they 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!
It’s easy to tell that this movie had a far bigger budget than the TV series could ever afford, it’s jam packed with stunning locations and celebrity cameos - even their house is bigger! However, in essence it’s still the same show that debuted in the early 90s. I feel that without being a fan of the series many of the jokes would be lost on a member of the general public, which does limit the audience slightly.
I very much enjoyed the film, there were definitely laugh-out-loud moments and the characters’ antics haven’t gotten any less exaggerated. Some jokes did fall flat, but not too many, some were also recycled from the show - but it felt more homage than lazy, so its easy to forgive. Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders are still brilliant in their leading roles - they carry the film easily. It’s also nice to see Julia Sawalha and June Whitfield return, even in slightly smaller roles. Chris Colfer is also gloriously camp as Edina’s stylist.
It’s Saunders’ first film project and it holds up pretty well, it does feel like an extended version of the show and it certainly couldn’t have been padded out any further, running at barely 90 minutes.
Overall if you love the TV show like I do you’re going to have a great night out, if not I’d probably give it a miss.
Review by Benjamin Maio Mackay
Screening courtesy of Palace Nova Cinemas and 20th Century Fox