Home Reviews Review: Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie

Review: Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie

Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley star in ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS: THE MOVIE

Revisiting older series long after their heyday is a risk. The beloved characters may not resonate the same way that they once did. With Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie the characters retain their charm, but are not presented in a way that lets the audience enjoy them in the same way as they once did.

Based on the cult British series, Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie seems at first to pick up where it left off. Edina and Patsy (Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley) are still partying hard, smoking like chimneys, and doing whatever they can to annoy Edina’s uptight daughter Saffron (Julia Sawalha). Through a series of bad circumstances Edina mistakenly pushes Kate Moss off of a balcony and into the River Thames which is certain career suicide for our pair as they both work in the fashion industry.

If the hijinks in the film was limited to that description, it would have been a more successful revisit to the over the top world of Patsy and Edina. To the detriment of the film it instead digs deep into Edina’s recent emotional and money struggles. Her failing Public Relations business has not only lost clients, it has also lost its once golden reputation. Due partially to this, she is broke and cannot afford to keep her and Pasty stocked with champagne and vacations. Though Edina is still the woman we have always known, she has hit a rough patch and the film is asking us to care about her.

Herein lies the major issue with the film: Patsy and Edina are not about emotions. Those who love their long-running television series love the crazy situations they get themselves into, and their even more absurd designs to get out of them. We love seeing Pasty stare down Saffron and tease her. We love seeing how far these two go for a drink and a smoke. Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie spends far too much time trying to get the audience to care about these characters we have been gleefully emotionally distant from, and it sacrifices precious screen time in doing so.

Another element that does not quite work here is the celebration of a fashion culture that no longer exists. If we’ve learned anything from Zoolander 2 it is that it is difficult to get audiences to buy-in to the world of supermodels and fashion when the cult of the supermodel no longer exists. Patsy and Edina existed in this world 20 years ago, and it may have been fun to watch them then, but asking the audience to conceit that this world is the same as it was before does not work.

This is not to say that nothing in the film is satisfying to loyal fans. Edina’s sartorially whacky assistant Bubble (Jane Horrocks) is here, with her unwearable clothing and oddly flighty personality. And the running joke about Patsy not understanding how money works is always welcome too.

Celebrating a culture that is past its prime and being too serious are two grave errors that keep Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie from itself being fabulous. Pasty and Edina have not changed, but the world and their medium have, and they never quite fall into their old rhythm, darling.

Director: Mandie Fletcher

Jennifer Saunders
Joanna Lumley
Julia Sawalha
Jane Horrocks
June Whitfield

Film Length: 86 minutes

Release Date: July 22, 2016

Distributor: Fox Searchlight

  • Score - 4/10
  • Ella Hunt stars in Orion Pictures' ANNA AND THE APOCALYPSE

    Review: Anna and the Apocalypse

    Anna and the Apocalypse is a multitude of things pushed into a small package. It’s a…
  • (L-R) Ando Sakura, Matsuoka Mayu, Sasaki Miyu, Jyo Kairi and Lily Franky star in Magnolia Pictures' SHOPLIFTERS

    Review: Shoplifters (Manbiki kazoku)

    Shoplifters isn’t the type of movie that we’re used to seeing in this day and …
  • Michael B. Jordan stars in MGM and Warner Bros. Pictures' CREED II

    Review: Creed II

    There were a ton of questions surrounding Creed II. That’s primarily because Ryan Co…
  • Sarah Silverman and John C. Reilly star in Walt Disney's RALPH BREAKS THE INTERNET

    Review: Ralph Breaks the Internet

    Wreck-It Ralph popped up and surprised a lot of people when it was released by becoming on…
  • (L-r) Mathilde Ollivier and Jovan Adepo star in Paramount Pictures' OVERLORD

    Review: Overlord

    Overlord isn’t the type of WWII movie that’s looking to offer historical accur…
  • Melissa McCarthy stars in Fox Searchlight's CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?

    Review: Can You Ever Forgive Me?

    The thing about some modern low-budget films is that they’re often times closer to t…
Load More Related Articles
Load More By Deirdre Crimmins
Load More In Reviews
Comments are closed.

Check Also

Review: Gold

Gold is one of those films that is fun to watch, but never quite settles into its own stri…