Small Screen, Big Comedy: Our Review of ‘Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie’

Posted in Movies, Theatrical by - July 22, 2016
Small Screen, Big Comedy: Our Review of ‘Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie’

There’s some genuine comfort in return to some old familiar characters and haunts.  While Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie will never…and I mean ever win any kind of awards it does hit the nail on the head and captures some of that naughty and inappropriate vibe as Edina and Patsy remind us all of why we fell in love with them in the first place.

Still living life to the absolute extreme, Edina and Patsy (Jennifer Saunders & Joanna Lumley) are oozing as much glitz and glamour as they possibly can in and around the streets of London; shopping, drinking and anything else that they can think of their heart’s content.  However, the party is at risk of ending, Edina is running out of money and needs something to keep her never endingly extravagant lifestyle a float that is until the perfect opportunity falls in her lap.  The iconic Kate Moss has dumped her PR and is looking for representation, and Edina wants to make sure it’s her.  But much like any good opportunity that comes Edina’s way, she might be getting charged with manslaughter and is in the middle of a media scandal the likes that London has rarely seen.  So with her best friend Patsy by her side, they hatch a scheme and head off to the south of France in hopes of making this a permanent exile from the London fashion scene that would allow them both to live the high life…FOREVER!

It’s not a film that will ever rank in the echelons of high class cinema history or bring in any new fans to the franchise, but Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie is one hell of a lot of fun.

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With TV veteran Mandie Fletcher taking the reins on this outing it makes a lot of sense as the material in the screenplay from Jennifer Saunders does feel like an extended or ‘Very Special’ episode of Ab Fab and never tracks into feeling like anything more than just another episode.  That being said, it is some pretty darn good Ab Fab as she doesn’t miss a beat, knowing the ins and out’s of these characters like the back of her hand.  Fletcher keeps the action moving at a good clip but it rarely feels big like a movie should.  Fans will delight at the comedic antics as all your favorite characters get dusted off and make appearances along with some fun cameos that damn near steal the show, but it never demands your attention at the theatres and feels like it could have been enjoyed just as much on Netflix or on the eventual Blu-Ray release.

Like slipping into a comfortable robe, both Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley slide back into these roles of Edina and Patsy with shockingly comfortable ease.  Watching these two gallivant around town and get into all different kinds of mischief is at worst an enjoyable delight, we know they are crazy, everyone around them knows they are crazy and it’s just about watching the madness unfurl in as gonzo a fashion as humanly possible.  Both of these women just don’t work enough and along with the incomparable Jane Horrocks, they are first ballot, hall of fame comediennes…they are just that damn good. abfabthemovie

Watching these women in all of their comedic glory is like watching that final game from your favorite pro athlete.  You may never see them again, but you damn well know that they have never been better then when they are on display in such spectacular glory.  It’s for the fans, but Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie is such glorious comfort food comedy that it just may win a few people over based on charm alone.

This post was written by
David Voigt is a Toronto based writer with a problem and a passion for the moving image and all things cinema. Having moved from production to the critical side of the aisle for well over 10 years now at outlets like Examiner.com, Criticize This, Dork Shelf (Now That Shelf), to.Night Newspaper he’s been all across his city, the country and the continent in search of all the news and reviews that are fit to print from the world of cinema.
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