‘Ab Fab’ still wickedly funny

The Commercial Appeal - Go Memphis - - MOVIES -

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.

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