15 – 94mins – 2016
P.R. DISASTER, DARLING
Older, saggier, fatter and more deluded than ever, celebrity-circling wannabe fashionista’s Edina Monsoon (Jennifer Saunders) and Patsy Stone (Joanna Lumley) have finally blagged their way onto the big screen, 20 years after their BBC sitcom finished, and four years after the heavy-drinking, drug-abusing, fad-chasing catwalk cougars last appeared in a spat of 20th Anniversary specials.
In a bid to sign Kate Moss to her PR company, Edina becomes a tabloid target and social media pariah after accidentally knocking the fashion queen into the Thames. Determined to out-fox the paparazzi and escape the media firestorm, Eddy and Patsy jet off to Cannes in an attempt to live out a glamourous life of luxurious anonymity by marrying rich old flames on their deathbed.
Often crude, outrageous and eye-rollingly embarrassing, but with real heart hidden beneath the layers of frumpy fakery, the film’s biggest draw is its enviable bevvy of celebrity cameos – from Lulu to Christopher Biggins via Gwendoline “Captain Phasma” Christie, it would almost be easier to name people who don’t pop up on the guest-list for a cheeky wink to the audience. As the saying goes: It’s not what you know, but who.
Essentially, in bringing Absolutely Fabulous to the movies, co-creator and writer Saunders does right everything that fellow promoted property Mrs. Brown’s Boys Da Movie failed to: it retains the sitcom’s desperate tone and snappy, scandalous laugh-or-gasp taste-testing humour over the course of an hour and half. It doesn’t reinvent the heel, nor will it win over any new fans, but Ab Fab lovers will all agree: Bolly good show, sweetie.
CR@B’s Claw Score: