Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie (2016) Review

Keeva Stratton

Film Expert

Eddie and Patsy are back—they’re a little older, a little less relevant, but as utterly, unapologetically fabulous as they always were. Having possibly murdered Kate Moss, now, more than ever, they will find out who their true friends are.

absolutely-fabulous

The years have not been kind to Eddie’s PR Agency. Once the epicentre of London’s fashion scene—or at least, that’s what she believed—she’s now reduced to representing boutique vodka labels (albeit very boutique ones, sweeties).

When Patsy hears that Kate Moss might be looking for a new PR, the chance to resurrect Eddie’s career and finally work with one of the greats proves irresistible. Hearing she’ll be at an event they have access too, they put a plan in place to get a little time alone with Kate.

But, as true fans of the series will know, nothing is ever that easy. And in their eagerness, tragedy befalls them—when Edina accidentally pushes Kate off a balcony and into the Thames. Now, as the main suspect in the manslaughter of London’s most beloved fashion icon, Eddie is getting all kinds of unwanted attention.

She escapes with Patsy to the South of France and goes into hiding, as only they can. But covert is not really their style; and before long, they’ve attracted an international manhunt that leads them on a treacherous adventure that could be their last.

The characters created through Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley have stood the test of time, and in this, their first feature film, we delve deeper into what is—at its essence—a truly wonderful friendship.

It’s also a heartfelt commentary on the challenges many of us having with aging. The sense of identity that is so tied to our youthful selves can be painful to lose—which is why our hearts goes out to Eddie, when she proclaims: ‘All I ever wanted was to not be old or fat, darling, and now I’m both.’ Despite the overt staging of comedy at work, having grown up with these characters, Eddie’s dissatisfaction with who she had become actually stirred some real emotions for me.

Does it live up to the highs of the TV series in its heyday? Probably not. But they’re so fabulous and funny you can forgive them the odd patchy moment. In this age of Instagram perfectionism, it’s utterly refreshing to enjoy the champagne-for-breakfast style of living Eddie and Pats simply refuse to give up.

The support cast and cameos are a lot of fun, with Bubbles in particular proving just how ahead of her time she was. All of my favourite people are a little bit Eddie, or a little bit Patsy—and the rare few are both, which is why I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting the extravagance and unashamed imperfections of this marvellous duo.

They may not be at their most fabulous, but they’re still good value.

Director: Mandie Fletcher

Stars: Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley,

Runtime: 86 mins

Release Date: August 4

Rating: MA 15+

Reviewer Rating: 3/5

 

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