Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Ab-Fabbers are back, this time in ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS: THE MOVIE

The popular British TV series Absolutely Fabulous, which had a twenty-year run (not bad!) during the era in which our last century slithered into this one, was a lot of fun and rather set the current stage for gals behaving badly. The product of writer and star Jennifer Saunders, with the help of costar Joanna Lumley, it deservedly captured the fancy of folk on both sides of the pond. Now, four years after the demise of that series (in Britain, at least; it may have ended earlier here in the USA), the movie version, long talked about and/or in gestation, arrives.

And? TrustMovies found it pretty good and often very funny, if a little too gassy and taking too much time to get airborne. I resisted for awhile, thinking, "What? All this again?" But then at some point I let out a loud laugh, began chucking at the antics of these two women -- Edina (Ms Saunders) and Patsy (Ms Lumley) -- and by movie's end was thoroughly satisfied that my humor quotient had been met for the day. The director here is a woman named Mandie Fletcher (shown at left) who helmed several of the TV episodes and so was evidently tapped by Ms Saunders and maybe the producers to direct the film -- which she has managed to do quite serviceably.

The setting this time out is the current world of fashion, which is shown us as mostly a hotbed of silliness and stupidity. Edina (below, left), who hopes to land a book deal for her memoirs (what she submits to the publisher is pretty funny) but is rejected, then moves her goal to doing PR for the fashion set.

Ms Lumley (above, right) plays her usual hanger-on, providing drugs alcohol and other fun stuff. But the ladies are down to their last pound -- even if they are living in a modern mansion well beyond their means.

Series regulars like Julia Sawalha (as Edina's straight-laced daughter) show up, along with "secretary" Bubbles (Jane Horrocks, above, left) and Edina's mother (June Whitfield, above, right) -- with the latter two barely used except as a kind of reminder of the fun we once had.

So the movie belongs, and rightly so, to Saunders and Lumley, the latter of whom seems to hang back and be used for the usual only -- until a little over halfway along, when she comes into her own with a delightfully goofy impersonation that will keep a grin plastered on your face for the remainder of the movie.

The film owes its ending to the great Some Like It Hot but the homage/steal is good enough to please fans of both films. We get currently posh-if-squalid London and the French Riviera as locations, plus Ms Sawalha doing Karaoke in a gay club (above), and a bunch of cameos from folk we love (or maybe used to) such as Joan Collins and Barry Humphries (above) -- plus a few new surprise personalities, as well.

As it is set in the fashion world, we get our fill of "fashion" faces, too. Kate Moss (above) is used for beauty and fun, good-naturedly putting herself through the wringer for our gals. And none other than Jean-Paul Gautier (below) makes an ironic appearance as a old beachcomber-type fellow searching for coins and other precious metals in the beachside sand.

A word must also be said for one of the most beautiful new faces to light up the screen in some time -- that of Indeyarna Donaldson-Holness (shown below, left), the lovely young girl with a mouthful of a name, making her screen debut as the Saunders character's granddaughter, Lola.

So, yes, you can expect to have a good time at this current rendition of Ab/Fab. It's not great art but it is (mostly, at least) good, silly fun.

From Fox Searchlight and running a thankfully lean and let's-not-outstay-our-welcome 90 minutes, the movie opens nationwide this Friday, July 22. Click here (then scroll waaaaay down to the bottom to find the theaters nearest you.

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