ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS: THE MOVIE
Director: Mandie Fletcher
Starring: Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley, Jane Horrocks, Julia Sawalha, Chris Colfer Gwendoline, Celia Imrie, Christie, Lulu, Kate Moss, Stella McCartney
Sweetie! Sweetie! Our friends Edina “Eddy” Monsoon (Saunders) and Patsy Stone (Lumley) are seen stumbling out of their car after having one too many at a party. Some things have never changed. It’s been 24 years since they first made an impression on audiences thanks to the British television show of the same name, and they are back for more shenanigans. Eddy believes she has a book deal but can’t seem to get an advance on it after her assistant, Bubble (Horrocks), poorly wrote sections of it. Patsy is the fashion editor at “The A” magazine. Eddy’s work in PR is suffering, and she sets her eyes on model Kate Moss to be her next client. She has to fight for her against rival PR guru Claudia Bing (Imrie) in the process. It will be a challenge, but Eddy believes she is ready to make her move at a huge fashion event for designer Huki Muki. It’s not long before tragedy strikes and Kate Moss falls off a balcony and disappears into the River Thames. Eddy becomes the prime suspect in the investigation as she was approaching Kate when it happened. It becomes a paparazzi nightmare outside Eddy’s home, but she and Patsy are able to escape to Cannes hoping it all goes away quietly.
It seems like there have been countless reboots or re-imaginings of classic TV shows. It’s by no means a new concept, but it sure is trendy as audiences want a trip down nostalgia lane. Some involve the same cast (Netflix’s Fuller House) and some feature a young fresh crop of actors (Star Trek Beyond which also opens this week). Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie brings back the beloved cast of the show including Saunders and Lumley, Jane Horrocks as the aptly described Bubble, and Julia Sawalha as Eddy’s daughter Saffron. We’re even introduced to Saffron’s thirteen year old daughter Lola played by Indeyarna Donaldson-Holness. Despite the crazy antics Eddy always finds herself in, Saffron remains the steady, level-headed one of the family. Even Lola finds herself caught up in her grandma’s getaway to Cannes. Chris Colfer also stars as Eddy’s young and flamboyant hair and make-up guy.
Fans of the show will no doubt get a kick out of the movie. The advanced screening I went to was full of fans who were highly enjoying themselves, which doesn’t always happen with these kinds of reboots. I would recommend watching a few episodes to get into the sense of humor of the characters. All episodes and specials are now streaming on Hulu if you subscribe to that service. It’s a 90-minute riot with the shock inducing laughs occurring almost immediately from the film’s introductory scene. Joanna Lumley pulls out all the stops to make Patsy as glamourous as possible even if means self-injected botox shots and fat suction treatments. A majority of the humor is over-the-top, wacky physical comedy mixed in with some politically incorrect musings due to how clueless they both are about life.
The series and the movie were written by Jennifer Saunders, and it speaks to the brilliance of her writing of these two characters as they are still relevant and funny after all these years. There’s a timeless feel to them and many people can relate to their struggle with getting older, wanting to feel young, and the desperate actions they take to stay that way. Those two just go about it in a different way than sane individuals would. The film boasts plenty of celeb cameos from Lulu, Stella McCartney, Kate Moss, Gwendolyn Christie, Joan Collins, John Hamm, and Jerry Hall. Many of them actually play a significant part to the plot against Eddy and Patsy. I’m sure if you are familiar with famous British personalities you would recognize even more faces throughout the film.
The movie is full of crazy fashion, color explosions, peppy music, and lavish European culture and couture. It’s a frolicking good time in the way that episodic TV can provide a little mini vacation and much needed respite from the politically charged season we are currently living in. You’ll want to sip some bubbly and laugh along with the over the top nature of Eddy and Patsy.
Is It Worth Your Trip to the Movies? I was laughing so hard that I missed a few jokes.
RATING: 4 out of 5 TICKET STUBS