‘Ab Fab’ still wickedly funny
flirts with the edges of political correctness and taboo subjects.
Eddie and Patsy never change (thankfully for us). They still make the same silly mistakes and cook up the same hare-brained schemes, and Eddie’s clothes are still some of the funniest visual gags to be found anywhere (highlights include a wildly oversized bomber jacket with platform Timberland boots, as well as a large “Reality TV makes me SAD” brooch). Saunders frets and snacks and chants, while the leonine Lumley hisses and sneers and shimmies.
Director Mandie Fletcher is behind the camera, but Saunders is the auteur (she wrote the screenplay), and she and Lumley slip into the characters like the old friends they are.
While the first half of the film stays in the familiar confines of Eddie’s (upgraded) kitchen, “Absolutely Fabulous” really gets going when they hit the beaches of Cannes, escaping from the police and paparazzi in London. Loosening up the location allows the characters to loosen up themselves, with Patsy seducing a rich paramour whom she’d never expect, Saffron finding her voice, and Eddie learning how to emotionally express herself.
But any heartfelt clap-trap or selfawareness is quickly undercut with a dash of acid, and quickly poo-pooh’d away. But that warm, beating heart is undeniably present. Cheers, sweetie darling.