#REVIEW: “ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS THE MOVIE”
The phenomenon of BBC series AbFab is something that has spread far beyond its unsuspecting roots as a French & Saunders sketch. Lauded for its uncensored brevity, AbFab in many ways has had a cultural impact and the way we see women in Television and Film. After a successful initial run in the early to mid ’90s and revivals thereafter, its latest incarnation comes in Film form as an international release, Absolutely Fabulous The Movie. Director Mandie Fletcher returns and Jennifer Saunders not only produces and stars, but pens also.
When hopes of a book deal for her Autobiography fall through, notorious publicist Edina Monsoon (Saunders) must regroup as cash and interest in her agency dwindles. Catching wind of supermodel Kate Moss seeking representation, Edina and her partner-in-crime Patsy (Joanna Lumley) must divert the competition and do it quick. Now in their 60s, they are driven more than ever to thrive in times of fading relevancy. In a freak accident while attending the mega bash of hot designer Huki Muki, Edina unintentionally pushes Kate Moss off a balcony into the water. When her body fails to be recovered, a presumed-guilty Edina and Patsy go into hiding. Together with the former’s granddaughter Lola (Indeyarna Donaldson-Holness), they escape to Cannes in true to fab form, embarking on new lives as Edina is determined not to go to prison. How long though before the self-indulgent Edina gets spotted and must take responsibility for her actions?
Let’s be clear, Absolutely Fabulous The Movie was made for its legions of fans and with that in mind, it succeeds on the whole as a campy, twisty, soapy, darkly-humorous romp. It is ridiculous, over-the-top and appropriately biting and heartless. It being any other way wouldn’t be true to its sassy brand. Satirizing much of the superficiality its characters live and breathe, the Film pushes the boundaries even further than its Television roots. Although it all unfolds a little too conveniently, with some central familial storylines (its one tiny glimmer of heart) skimped-on in favour of crude laughs, the Movie both caters to devout fans and also introduces itself with enough spunk to appeal to a new generation unfamiliar with the AbFab legacy. And let’s not forget that dizzying display of celebrity cameos from supermodels of now to Mad Men to Spice Girls!
Fox Searchlight release ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS THE MOVIE Friday, July 22, 2016.