The latest Britcom to get the obligatory big-screen treatment is Ab Fab, observing the time-honoured sitcom movie tradition of taking the characters abroad, darling.
Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley are still a booze-swilling, chain-smoking, fashion-bothering delight to watch – which is just as well when the plot, involving Eddy and Patsy accidentally killing Kate Moss, is about as lightweight and unconvincing as Kate Moss. As tends to be the case with these adaptations, there are more cameos than jokes, with more so-called celebrities than you can shake a selfie stick at – none of whom can act, and some of whom are actors by profession.
Little attempt has been made to update Absolutely Fabulous for a) the cinema or b) the 21st century, giving it limited satirical and cinematic scope. The film seems content to coast on goodwill and affection, and when your characters are as inherently funny as Patsy and Eddy, that’s not too much of a problem. Fans will appreciate the return of Jane Horrocks, Julia Sawalha, June Whitfield and loads of other people whose names begin with J. Jabulous, sweetie.
This is closer in quality to the recent specials than the sitcom’s heyday, and the plot makes about as much sense as Saffy’s living arrangements. But Saunders’ screenplay has its moments, and Bubble’s outfits are almost worth the admission price alone. So it’s not exactly In The Loop, but nor is it the Are You Being Served film. Ab Fab: The Movie is far from fabulous, but are there worse ways to spend 90 minutes? Absolutely.
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