Back in February ‘Dad’s Army‘ attempted the tricky sit-com television series to big screen movie jump. The results weren’t awful but they weren’t exactly all that memorable either. So ‘Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie’ wasn’t the first film this year to try and build on its popular television foundations. Could it do any better though?
I’ve never seen an episode of the TV show, this could well be the case for many younger cinema goers, so I wasn’t all that sure what to expect. The film’s main stars are Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley, I find both of them quite likeable actresses to be honest and some of their previous work has amused me. Saunders takes on the role of writing here so a lot of the success of the film rests on her shoulders as writing is probably the key element to making any comedy actually funny. Unfortunately the writing here isn’t of a good quality, the narrative is so very weak and the script really lacks humour. The whole thing is utter nonsense, at times it does manage to connect with audiences but for the most part the gags just don’t land. Celia Imrie is introduced fairly early on as a rival PR agent to Saunders character Edina ‘Eddy’ Monsoon. It’s a shame that Imrie only has a couple of scenes as a narrative exploring the rivalry between the pair would have made for a much more solid story and probably a funnier one.
Due to my lack of knowledge of the TV show I was unaware of many of the bonkers characters here, I’m really not sure which of these have been made up for the film and which originate from the TV show. Regardless of this I just couldn’t buy into much of what was happening due to the sheer ridiculousness of some, Eddy’s personal assistant ‘Bubble’ being the prime example. The film is laden with celebrity cameos as well, for the amount that are featured here it’s quite astonishing that practically none of them are funny. They are amusing for the one second it takes to work out who it is but when they say their line very rarely did any laughter follow. Some of the cameos develop into larger supporting roles for the celebrities and many of these such as Lulu and Emma Bunton just end up being completely cringe worthy. The main cast do slightly better with their performances but still at times manage to make things looked forced and awkward. There is no doubt that this film is a bad one, however it isn’t completely without merit as I have to admit on about four or five occasions I did laugh. There is some good comedy here, you just have to endure around fifteen minutes of flat gags to get to it each time.
So unfortunately ‘Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie’ is far from being ab fab. With a poor narrative and script there is little anyone can do to salvage the film. I suppose the cameos keep the audience engaged but they still aren’t really any good. Much of the cast are woeful in their performances and for those playing the most random of characters they had an uphill battle from the word go. Nonsense is the best word to describe this film, it will have an audience but it will simultaneously fail to entertain a lot of cinema goers. It never becomes hateful, the leads are likable and the laughs that the film has are quite funny there’s just nowhere near enough of them.
Rating – 3/10
Question: What is your favourite film that started off as a TV show?
(Leave your answers in the comments section below!)
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