I went into Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie a total and complete Ab Fab virgin. I was only familiar with Jennifer Saunders from her outstanding vocal work in the masterpiece that is Shrek 2, and although I had seen Joanna Lumley in a few films, she didn’t immediately ring a bell in my mental celebrity Rolodex.
Edina (Saunders) and Patsy (Lumley) are two eccentric ladies that are trying to keep up with the times, but not always doing a great job at it. Edina is struggling with her PR agency, and Patsy stays busy giving herself her own Botox injections, or apparently working in the fashion industry. Patsy discovers that Kate Moss will be attending a fashion event, so the duo concoct a plan involving Edina’s granddaughter to attend the party and gain Kate Moss as a client. The plan goes awry once Kate Moss falls off a ledge into the River Thames, looking to the outside world as if Edina pushed her in.
From there, the film gets weird. Edina and Patsy end up in Cannes in a scheme for Patsy to marry the richest woman in the world.
The biggest issue with this film is its history. The original show Absolutely Fabulous ran on and off from 1992 to 2012 for 39 episodes. Although the show has a relatively small episode count, I felt as if I was missing out on something. The plot, although very weird and incredibly insane, made sense, but I feel like the characters’ motives and actions would have made more sense had I seen the show. Additionally, there were cameo appearances that I assumed had larger roles in the show, but felt superfluous in the film. While it is a nice homage to fans of the show, it creates excess in the film that could leave other virgins like myself slightly confused.
While most of the jokes and quips were funny, there were a few “jokes” that were disrespectful to the LGBT community (specifically ‘T’). While I can appreciate the film’s “no holds barred” approach at humor, those attempts at humor were just uncomfortable.The film also suffered from the cliché of older people trying to stay relevant by using modern technology. There are several references to Twitter, and one scene finds the duo swiping away on Tinder. My 92-year-old uses Facebook and Netflix every day, so plotlines and story devices like these bore me.
This film is for the fans of the show. While I didn’t think it was a cinematic masterpiece, I’m always up for watching older British woman in anything. It was the perfect length at 91 minutes to hold my attention, and I came to love Edina and Patsy. I wouldn’t call it absolutely fabulous, but maybe absolutely adequate.