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« HMWYBS: "Islands in the Stream" | Main | Beauty vs Beast: Stuck In Mortville »
Monday
Jul252016

Feeling really "sorted out" about Absolutely Fabulous

This review was originally published in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad

Do you remember that bit in the AbFab series when Edina is turning 40 and her ex husband’s new wife Bo (the hilarious Mo Gaffney), already in her 40s, is feeling really zen about the aging process…

I mean, golly, I wish I could tell her it’s no big deal. I had a ball on my 40th birthday. I felt really strong, really sorted-out about it. I realized what a lucky, wonderful person I was. And whether in your 30s or your 40s, you’re still the same gorgeous person. Enjoy life!

…only to hyperventilate at the mention of her own impending 50s? I kept thinking about that bit during the new AbFab movie...

Well, that one and Bo’s other most-quoted line amongst my friends “I love old things,” which must always be said whilst casually placing your hands on your friend’s shoulders.

Absolutely-Fabulous-The-Movie-GIFs-3

Absolutely-Fabulous-The-Movie-GIFs-9

If you missed ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS THE MOVIE  this weekend (you’d better have a doctor’s note) you’ll be happy to know that Bo and the rest of the sideshow circus of the classic Britcom are back for cameos in the new adventure. But the joke is still the same.

When AbFab started a… uh… quarter century ago [*hyperventilating*] so much of the comedy sprung from the fact that Edina and Patsy, played by the genius Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley, were too old for their antics. Their worlds (fashion and PR) tended to idolize teenagers in designer wear. Twenty-four years later, they’re even older and so’s the joke, but it’s still damn funny.

Comedies are among the hardest movies to review — which is why I haven’t really done so — because it comes down to how much you laugh. The new film is more of a mini new season than a supersized “Movie” as the title promises but who wouldn’t want another season? It’s a disposable joy if you're a fan: the celebrity cameos, especially Joan Collins and Dame Edna’s are silly fun; Joanna Lumley still has the power to generate guffaws with a simple grimace, smile, or shrug; the Pats/Edina chemistry remains absurdly perfect in its hermetically sealed bubble. And, finally, the ongoing “they killed Kate Moss” plot device, which kicks the movie into its main gear, has a perfect throwaway punchline on the beach.

Grade: B/B-
MVP: Joanna Lumley. Kate Moss us runner up for being a good sport.
Oscar Chances: The only Oscar interest these ladies will have is the open bar at the after parties (which they'll have to sneak into) and the red carpet

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Reader Comments (8)

I love the TV series but this one is a complete misfire. It's not even funny..more cringeworthy if you were to ask me. I would suggest a re-watch of the first 3 seasons as they were the best!

July 25, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterJans

I thought the first 40 minutes was solid, and the incident which kicks off the main plot (involving the death of a supermodel) is just about perfect. But the film loses ground as soon as it switches from London to the Riviera. It seemed to slowly deflate, and even the good ideas, such as the reveal of Bubbles and her role, was mishandled. Saunders really knows the London scene and having the farce remain there probably would have been a stronger choice. Still, Joanna Lumley is a treasure

July 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterIanO

Saw this last night and while I agree with Ian that it went a bit downhill after they escaped to the Riviera, I don't think I've had a more fun night at the movies all year. Of course, it helped that I saw it with friends in Chelsea, and if there was ever a place to see a movie version of a beloved-by-gays TV show, this was IT. Everyone was really into it, laughing, applauding, yelling at the screen, and all that made the film even more fun than it already was. Is it really a "good" film? Probably not. But I was often laughing so long and hard that I missed lots of dialogue, and that to me is the sign of a top-notch comedy.

July 26, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

I'm with Denny. It's held together by scotch tape and gumption and the plot loses steam, but I haven't laughed so hard in ages. Saunders and Lumley are fearlessly funny. Go with the right expectations and enjoy.

July 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterTom M

I thought the movie was patchy but there were some moments of comedy genius that had me hyperventilating through my tears in the movie theatre - that's pretty much how I felt about the show too. The joy of Ab Fab was always Saunders and Lumley riffing off each other and finding gold in material would be nothing much to read in a script - they not only still have that incredible chemistry, but it's aged as beautifully as Patsy and Edina have aged disgracefully! The movie feels like an extended episode rather than an ambitious reach to fill the silver screen, but it's a good fun summer entertainment and I was more than happy to shell out for 90mins with these beloved old friends.

July 26, 2016 | Unregistered Commenter7Bis

Loved this - I think Saunders did better than most who adapt a tv sitcom to movie.
To me the characters felt true to themselves, the jokes about fashion were great and Joanna Lumley is perfect.

July 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterLadyEdith

I mean, if Sex and the City couldn't get a costume design Oscar nomination then neither will Absolutely Fabulous, but wouldn't that be a hoot?!

July 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn Dunks

Glenn - I KNOW, RIGHT?!? I mean, they deserve all the awards for Bubble's hashtag couture ALONE!

July 27, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterdenny

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