Wednesday, 19 October 2016
Absolutely Fabulous film review
Went to see this film with my friend Aj yesterday at Leeds/Bradford Odeon.
IMDB says: After attracting both media and police attention for accidentally knocking Kate Moss into the River Thames, Patsy and Edina hide out in the south of France.
In this Mandie Fletcher (Jam and Jerusalem, Brush Strokes) directed and Jennifer Saunders (Coraline, Shrek 2) written film, Saunders also stars as Edina Monsoon and Joanne Lumley (The Wolf of Wall Street, Corpse Bride) as her best pal Patsy.
With only Lulu (To Sir with Love), Baby Spice (Emma Bunton) and some vodka as clients, when Edina fails at pitching her memoirs to Joel (Mark Gatiss: Sherlock, Game of Thrones), he realises she needs to secure some bigger names as clients. Whilst putting the finishing touches to her fashion show, Patsy overhears from her fashion friend Magda (Kathy Burke: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Nil by Mouth) that Kate Moss (herself) is seeking new representation and that she will be at the show that evening, she knows this is her big chance. Sadly, because of her ineptitude, Claudia Bing (Celia Imrie: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Bridget Jones), the biggest name in PR also now knows.
Deciding her best course of action is to take along her granddaughter Lola (Indeyarna Donaldson-Holness in her first movie role), child of long-suffering daughter Saffy (Julia Sawalha: Chicken Run, Jonathan Creek), who is given a makeover by Edina's beautician Christopher (Chris Colfer: Glee, Struck by Lightning). But during the party, in her desperation to get to Kate before Claudia, she knocks her into the Thames. They try to find her using Bubble (Jane Horrocks: Little Voice, Chicken Run) Edina's hapless assistant, but this only makes things worse, now they have the attention of Saffy's new policeman boyfriend Nick (Robert Webb: Magicians, Peep Show).
Hiding out in France in the hope to meet up and marry an old flame of Patsy, Charlie (Barry Humphries: Finding Nemo, Immortal Beloved) the millionaire, they run into Edina's Mother (June Whitfield: Terry and June, Jude) , when her friend gives them an even better plan.
In truth, it would have been better to name this film absolutely terrible, for sadly it was. The best thing in it was Chris Colfer and he seemed to be just playing the same character as he did in Glee, or spotting the numerous cameos, mostly of people playing themselves. There was Jon Hamm, Gwendoline Christie, Lily Cole, Jourdan Dunn, Alexa Chung, Stella McCartney, Graham Norton, Daisy Lowe, Lara Stone, Jean Paul Gaultier, Alex Jones, Alesha Dixon, Jerry Hall, Bruno Tonioli, Kirsty Walk, Rebel Wilson, Rylan Clark-Neal, Joan Collins and Jeremy Paxman (if you can bear to stay until after the end credits) to name but a few.
The movie suffered from weak writing, a non-existent plot that made no sense and it was bereft of the snappy monologues that made the TV series. Lola the granddaughter, though a beautiful girl, did not engage as a character and there seemed to be no reason to her being in many of the scenes that she was in. There was a distinct lack of laughs, a couple at best, and none of the sarcastic dialogue that worked so well between the characters. It was colourful and France looked pretty, but it was just dull. Sadly you could see and feel that it was the result of a bet (*see trivia below) as the no doubt hurried writing took the soul from the original.
I enjoyed the TV show, but it would have been better left as a good memory rather than ruining it with this disappointing film.
Trivia: *The movie was finalized as part of a bet made on the radio. Jennifer Saunders was determined to get the movie made in order to win a bet with comedy partner Dawn French, and would have to pay her £100,000 or have the script in her hands by the end of 2015. She succeeded in the latter, although when French first properly looked through the script, after page 35 it just said "blah blah blah blah...".
Rebel Wilson, longtime fan of the original series, already lobbied for a role in the movie in 2012, before her career took off internationally. She admits to have sent a letter to Jennifer Saunders in which she begged her for a part, and suggested she could play Patsy's long lost daughter. Eventually, when the production was set to start, Wilson was in such demand that she could only get one day off her schedule to film a small cameo, which was shot on the final day of principal photography. In real life, Wilson once had her DVD covers of Absolutely Fabulous (1992) signed by Joanna Lumley.
Tagline: It's an absolute must see darling! Really, it's not: 4.5/10