Saturday, 2 July 2016

Break out the Bolly – Ab Fab's back

If the film version of Absolutely Fabulous isn’t the greatest comedy ever made, then at the end of a week in which the UK went completely bonkers, it was pretty much perfect Friday evening entertainment.

It’s extraordinary to remember that the TV show first saw the light of day in 1992, but it’s been with us, on and off, ever since.

Now, finally, it reaches the big screen.
Essentially 90 minutes of sketches, all written by Jennifer Saunders, we see Eddy (Saunders herself) and Patsy (Joanna Lumley) fleeing to the south of France after apparently killing supermodel Kate Moss.

This time, they have to rely on Saffy’s daughter, the street wise Lola (Indeyarna Donaldon-Holness), to help them work out how to escape, since the intervening years have not made the duo any more sensible.

It has some laugh-out-loud moments, but is mostly at the level of inspiring a wide grin while watching.

A few brief existential moments from Eddy are probably the weakest aspects of the film, which is also incredibly indulgent in terms of the guest stars and cameos.

But the script has plenty to enjoy, with plenty of jokes about modern life, from people who say ‘totes’ or ‘O.M.G.’ to the problems of social media and being ‘trollied’ to sex changes. And of course, the world of fashion is a gift to comedy.

Julia Sawalha is back as Saffy, along with June Whitfield as Mother.

It moves at a pace and ends with a nod to Hollywood’s greatest comedy, Some Like It Hot.

If the sum of the parts is not entirely fabulous, one of those parts most certainly is.

Lumley lights up the screen every time she appears: gurning and sneering her way through increasingly improbable situations, bolstered by Bolly, fangs, drugs and self-injected Botox.

Thank goodness the years have not taken a toll on Patsy – a new dose of her sheer awfulness is worth the admission alone.

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