Not overly fab­u­lous

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - WEEK IN MOVIES -

AB­SO­LUTELY FAB­U­LOUS: THE MOVIE (M)

+Di­rec­tor: Mandie Fletcher (Deadly Ad­vice) Star­ring: Jen­nifer Saun­ders, Joanna Lum­ley, Ju­lia Sawalha, Jane Hor­rocks, Rebel Wil­son, Kate Moss Ver­dict: Ab­so­lutely not

LET’S not del­i­cately dance around the need-to-know on Ab­so­lutely Fab­u­lous: The Movie.

This big-screen ex­pan­sion of the hit 1990s Brit-com is a tired, lazy and of­ten rather hor­ri­ble ef­fort from all con­cerned.

Tragic nos­tal­gists hold­ing on to any hope that those beloved, badly be­haved part­ners in grotesque ex­cess Pats (Joanna Lum­ley) and Eddy (Jen­nifer Saun­ders) were go­ing to re­turn in tri­umph are kid­ding them­selves big-time.

If any­thing, the tran­si­tion to the movie for­mat only serves to highlight what were al­ways se­ri­ous de­fi­cien­cies with AbFab as a TV show.

In par­tic­u­lar, the 30-minute small-screen in­car­na­tion of AbFab of­ten flattered to de­ceive, with a laugh track that was al­ways turned up to max­i­mum vol­ume.

With­out those canned guf­faws to sig­nal loudly that a joke has just oc­curred, a high per­cent­age of the gags in Ab­so­lutely Fab­u­lous: The Movie ei­ther land awk­wardly, or fall com­pletely flat.

The plot­ting of an all-new, yet same-old ad­ven­ture for Pats and Eddy cen­tres on the pair be­ing im­pli­cated in the mys­te­ri­ous disappearance (and pos­si­ble drown­ing) of Kate Moss. (In­dica­tive of just how hope­lessly out-of-touch the movie can be is its near-des­per­ate se­ries of at­tempts to have us be­lieve Ms Moss is still “an in­ter­na­tional su­per­model” of some stand­ing.)

From here, the ladies tot­ter off to the south of France to wait for the heat to die down. Mean­while, the C-grade celebrity cameos just keep on com­ing. Th­ese dire walk-ons (Joan Collins! Stella McCartney! Baby Spice from the Spice Girls!) ap­pear to have been or­gan­ised by some­one us­ing a decade-old gos­sip mag they nicked from the hair­dressers.

Over­all, the movie just goes around and around the same closed cir­cuit of set-ups. Pats and Eddy pop a pill or snort a line, say some­thing bliss­fully in­ap­pro­pri­ate, and some­times fall over.

Veteran se­ries reg­u­lars such as Bub­ble (Jane Hor­rocks) and Eddy’s long-suf­fer­ing daugh­ter Saffy (Julie Sawalha) all get a chance to throw their usual shapes. Ghosts of jokes thought long-gone (sam­ple: “Did you feed my Twitter?” “No. I for­got. And it died!”) reap­pear once more to send a sud­den chill up the spine.

In what has been a glum era for be­lated movie re­unions – Zoolander 2 is an ab­so­lute hoot com­pared to this lemon – Ab­so­lutely Fab­u­lous takes the cake and sits in it.

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