Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley return as Edina Monsoon and Patsy Stone in the film adaptation of the popular UK sitcom Absolutely Fabulous.
In Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie, an aging Edina and her best friend Patsy lumber and booze their way down red carpets of posh fashion events, much to the annoyance of Edina’s straight-and-narrow daughter Saffy (Julia Sawalha). After Edina accidentally causes supermodel Kate Moss to fall into the River Thames at a party, Edina and Patsy flee to the south of France in search of the luxurious high life they’ve always wanted.
Ironically, Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie is a lot like the lives of the characters that it mocks so joyously: shiny on the surface, but meaningless and embarrassing once the glitter coating chips away. Apart from a few fun moments, the film is over-the-top, completely frivolous, and stuffed with an endless parade of celebrity cameos that gets tiring by the halfway hump. That isn’t to say that director Mandie Fletcher has made a joyless train wreck. If you can turn your brain off for 90 minutes, some entertainment can be gleaned from the antics of these two over-the-hill fashionistas.
I know Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie isn’t necessarily the sort of film you turn to for intellectually challenging cinema, but this silliness still needs substance. Fans of the original sitcom might find themselves satisfied with the film’s colourful eccentricity, but even they will notice satirical opportunities bypassed for predictability and a disappointing last-minute attempt at sincerity in the final act.
As the girls would say: “it is alright, darling – but it’s a far cry from fabulous.”
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