"“It’s witty, ridiculous and offensive, which is exactly what I was hoping for…”"
It seems that the Inbetweeners Movie has been the subject of mixed reviews. Some people love it, some, quite simply, just don’t get it. However, if you’re a fan of the show, my advice is to ignore the bad reviews and listen solely to the good ones, because if you are a fan, you just can’t not enjoy the film.
I mean, within the opening five minutes we are treated to a scene featuring Jay (James Buckley) masturbating fully nude, wearing snorkels, with a packet of supermarket ham at the ready. I can see why those who aren’t fans wouldn’t get this scene and may find it unnecessarily crude – but as a fan myself, that’s pretty much exactly what I was expecting, and in all honesty, hoping for.
The film, based on the highly-successful Channel Four series, features the four protagonists, Simon (Joe Thomas), Neil (Blake Harrison), Will (Simon Bird), and of course, Jay, as the defunct and somewhat juvenile characters that set off on a lads’ holiday to Greek party destination, Malia. They finished school as the uncool kids, and now they’ve set off on holiday, hoping to become, or just be considered, normal. The intention is to meet and sleep with girls, whilst Simon is more concerned about getting over his teenage crush, Carli (Emily Head).
It’s a vigorously funny film, with countless crude and vulgar jokes, as writers Iain Morris and Damon Beesley prove they still have an ear for adolescent foibles. They certainly know how to reach the brink of offence, whilst remaining terribly humorous in the meantime.
I do feel that you need to be a fan of the show in order to enjoy the feature. I don’t think it stands alone as a distinct film, as you need to have a bearing and understanding of the characters and their current predicaments, in order to fully appreciate the jokes and situations they manage to get themselves in to.
There are not many sitcoms-turned-movies that have become a hit on the big screen. In the Loop, a spin-off from BBC comedy The Thick of it, one of the few exceptions, but usually there is a fine line between what works on television and what works in the cinema, and I really feel that the Inbetweeners Movie has got it spot on. As a somewhat daft comedy, I did fear that it would become quite inane over the course of 90 minutes, but that wasn’t the case at all, as the script and storyline was more advanced and bigger, to ensure it is a hit cinematically.
I did feel though, that the film was rushed. They only finished working on the film two weeks ago – and I think you could tell. Aside from the well-edited and hilarious dancing scenes, it seemed, particularly at the end of the film, quite hurried. Although the writers clearly wanted to make this a summer release, it wouldn’t have hurt to have waited two more weeks for release, if it ensured a higher quality production.
But having said, as it’s originally a sitcom, the filmmakers no doubt shot and edited the film as if it were the normal show, which could explain the precipitated release.
My only other qualm was that I didn’t feel the ending had enough impact. This is the very end of the Inbetweeners and the last time (apparently – until they do a remake for easy cash in twenty years) that these characters will grace our screens with fresh material, and I just felt that it deserved more of a fitting climax. I, like many others, have grown fond of these misfits, and I wanted more of a poignant conclusion, to really crown the show and finish it in style. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the ending, I just wanted more sentimentality to it.
Nonetheless, it’s a brilliant film, and just hilarious from start to end. It’s witty, ridiculous and offensive, which is exactly what I, as an avid fan of the show, was hoping for. The film’s tagline is, “This Summer Four Boys Become Men,” and I really feel that over the course of the three series and now the movie, it’s fair to say that they all have.