Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Review



For many fans of the long-running sitcom Absolutely Fabulous, the chance to see Eddie and Patsy grace the silver screen is enough to justify the popular series’ first cinematic endeavour, though a nostalgic trip down memory lane is all this underwhelming comedy has to survive off, as if you’re after an original, consistently funny piece of contemporary filmmaking, you’ll be left wanting.

Edina (played by the creator and writer, Jennifer Saunders) is an ambitious PR agent, who vies tirelessly to be ahead of the curve, fashionable and on trend. However, and alongside her promiscuous best friend, and enabler, Patsy (Joanna Lumley) the pair feel gloriously out of touch, and want to rectify matters by signing up Kate Moss as a new client. Though in a freak accident at a launch party, Eddie is accused of murdering the famous model, and finds herself on the run and entangled in a brutal media storm, wanting nothing more than to escape London, and start again somewhere new, and away from the judging stare of her disillusioned and put-upon daughter, Saffron (Julia Sawalha).

The one theme that is genuinely interesting to explore is that of modernity, and whether or not our protagonists have embraced it, especially since they’re in PR and words like hashtag now mean something. The pair are a product of a bygone era and though that means some of the jokes are inevitably stuck in the past, it actually provides the film with an intriguing angle, to take two such shallow, conceited people and place them in a world where they feel old, unwanted and untrendy. However we carelessly deviate from this notion, never quite exploring it substantially enough.

The quality of the jokes are questionable too, as we rely on slapstick humour as a cheap means of provoking laughter, which is emblematic of this entire endeavour. Even the cameos – of which there are a breathtaking amount – work as an indication of the distinct lack of jokes, relying instead on mere “ooo look it’s X” to evoke humour.

The biggest question mark of all, however, is exactly why we needed an Ab Fab movie. This could so easily have been a one-off special, played on the telly over Christmas. Instead, with a theatrical release, you pay (a lot of) money to see something, and the expectations are raised accordingly, and it’s detrimental to the viewer’s enjoyment of this piece. But then again, it seems that those involved in this production had so much fun making the film, and who can really begrudge them that?