Film review: No classic but plenty of laughs with Ab Fab

Matt Adcock reviews Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie

Monday, 4th July 2016, 8:04 am
Updated Monday, 4th July 2016, 9:06 am
Jennifer Saunders as Edina Eddy Monsoon and Joanna Lumley as Patsy Stone
Jennifer Saunders as Edina Eddy Monsoon and Joanna Lumley as Patsy Stone

It’s official, sweetie darling, the much beloved British slightly-past-their-best women behaving badly have hit the big screen, and hit it hard.

Yes, taking no prisoners and striking a comedy blow for aging PR people everywhere, Edina Monsoon (Jennifer Saunders) and Patsy Stone (Joanna Lumley) are still oozing glitz and glamour, living the high life they are so accustomed to. But all is not well in their world of shopping, drinking and generally being ‘fabulous’ across London’s trendiest hot-spots.

Eddie’s PR business is on the slide, mostly due to her not having a clue as to how to adapt to the new social media world of Instagram and Twitter, where even her best celeb clients - Baby Spice and Lulu, - can self promote at the click of an iPhone.

In search of a holy grail AAA-level fashion celeb in the form of Kate Moss, the tragic duo crash an uber fashionable launch party. In true Ab-Fab style, everything goes pear-shaped though when they inadvertently set off a media storm so huge that they have to flee the country, relentlessly pursued by the paparazzi.

It’s a fun premise which milks plenty of laughs from seeing the glam women having to adapt to a penniless life on the run in the glamorous playground of the super-rich – the French Riviera. Might this be a blessing in disguise?

Joanna Lumley is the main deal here – rescuing what could have easily been a damp squib of a spin-off from the classic TV series with a superb performance, most of the best lines and a movie-stealing self Botoxing moment.

The expected cameo list is long and reasonably distinguished – Tinie Tempah, Abbey Clancy, Graham Norton rub up against the fashion world’s glitterati of Jean-Paul Gaultier, Stella McCartney, Alexa Chung and Perez Hilton. If these bit parts dilute the comedy hit rate somewhat, the sterling efforts of June Whitfield as Mother and the long suffering Julia Sawalha as Saffron compensate nicely.

Also popping up to grab funny moments are Rebel ‘Bridesmaids’ Wilson and Robert Webb – and it is the sheer energy of all concerned that makes what amounts to an extended episode of the TV show into a worthwhile cinematic comedy effort.

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie certainly isn’t a classic but it is a good fun potential swansong for the iconic characters and a must see for all you darlings who’ve enjoyed the small screen story so far.