ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS

3 stars

So it’s not a great movie by any stretch — name a movie version of a TV show that is — but it is an “absolutely” fun time if you go see it in a theatre full of fans of the show. So see it soon before crowds peter out. The plot, such as it is, is mostly a vehicle for revisiting some of the running jokes of the series and a cameo from almost everyone who ever starred in the show. PR guru Edina Monsoon (Jennifer Saunders) and her partner in crime, fashion mag editor Patsy Stone (Joanna Lumley) are once again chasing fashion model Kate Moss (one of the aforementioned running jokes) when disaster strikes and they are forced to go on the lam in a foreign country.

As always, the hilarious cluelessness and self-regard of Edina and Patsy drive the humour and the revisiting of some of the best bits of the show in different contexts is fun for the fans but probably bewildering for anyone unfamiliar with the pair’s previous antics. My favourite reappearances were those of Dawn French as the TV presenter and Patsy’s two fashion mag colleagues, the even-more-clueless Fleur and Catriona. Julia Sawalha as Edina’s frumpy daughter Saffron gets a tender moment when she stumbles into a familiar drag bar while on a hunt for fugitive family members. Jane Horrocks as Edina’s wacky assistant Bubble is as stunning as ever in her outrageous outfits, and the actress also get to show off her mimicry skills with an impression of a famous singer (I won’t spoil it).

It could have used better editing, many jokes fall completely flat especially those relating to trans characters. They really ought to have known better. Overall though it is a fun experience for fans of the show.

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