Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie
Given the current state of societal panic in the wake of the EU referendum, the quiet launch of Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie comes as a welcome respite from the day-to-day onslaught of doomsaying across British media. It’s easy to imagine that were Edina “Eddy” Monsoon (Jennifer Saunders) and Patsy Stone (Joanna Lumley), the chain-smoking, binge-drinking and otherwise perpetually intoxicated anti-heroines of AbFab, asked about the nation’s current topic du jour, the only reply you’d get would be a bemused “an EU what, darling?” before they turned back to whatever vice they were indulging in at the time of your asking.
There’s real conviction (and rather insightful irony) running throughout this big-screen adaptation that, despite being a franchise born in the early 90s, the characters and themes are still relevant. Indeed, it’s hard to disagree that the concept of two middle-aged fashionistas doing their damnedest to remain engaged with an ever younger, faster and more fashionable world is as apt now as it was 20-odd years ago. In the current age of endless reboots and re-imaginings, it’s refreshing to see a franchise stick to its guns in such a manner.
But enough about the conceptual implications. Audiences won’t be heading to cinemas to watch Absolutely Fabulous in search of deeper meaning. They’ll be going, first and foremost, for the comedy. In this regard Eddy and Patsy are as funny as they have ever been, firing on all cylinders as they blithely navigate a story that sees Eddy implicated in the murder of supermodel Kate Moss. The plot, nearly irrelevant here, serves only to put Saunders and Lumley on screen, displaying a warm chemistry that sees Saunders playing the – comparatively – straight man to Lumley’s wonderfully irascible and hedonistic excess.
Lumley especially is in rude form, stealing the show with an imperious and ever-debauched presence. She shines throughout, owning scenes regardless of whether she is throwing insults, providing delightfully ignorant opinions or cross-dressing to seduce a hyper wealthy widower. An honourable mention also goes to the extensive list of cameos (bonus points if you can spot all 60 of them) who all add genuine and topical humour to their various scenes.
Perhaps against many expectations, Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie is a solid and snappy comedy that doesn’t overstay its welcome. 24 years later and it’s still rolling.
Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie is released nationwide on 1st July 2016.
Watch the trailer for Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie here: