Title: Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie
Release Date: 22 July 2016
Director: Mandie Fletcher
“Oh god, I can’t believe you’re still…alive!” sputters Jon Hamm to Patsy Stone at a party in this film adaptation of the long-running BBC comedy. In a way it’s kind of an appropriate response to the continued existence of Absolutely Fabulous. The premise of a pair of aging baby boomers deluding themselves into believing that they are popular, fashionable, and can party non-stop was delightfully absurd in the 1990s, but it seems inconceivable to continue the same story 25 years later. Luckily, the movie takes on aging and mortality – as well as the human connections lost while trying to grasp youth – as one of its theme, but this is still AbFab so they don’t get too mushy about it. The basic plot is the Eddie kills model Kate Moss by pushing her into the Thames and she and Patsy have to go on the run. Hijinks ensue with a number of one-liners and visual humor (I particular like when Saffy is forced to sing Janis Ian’s “Seventeen” to a club full of drag queens).
There are numerous celebrities appearing in cameos and small parts including Lulu, Gwendolyn Christie, Mark Gatis, Hamm, Rebel Wilson, and Barry Humphries (aka Dame Edna) as well as lots of fashion models and designers I’ve never heard of before (apparently Paul McCartney has a daughter named Stella who is a fashion designer and she gets one of the best quips in the movie when she implies that Patsy broke up the Beatles, not Yoko Ono). Ultimately, this is an extended length AbFab episode with higher production values. Fans of AbFab will enjoy it, but there’s nothing here for anyone who doesn’t like AbFab and anyone who’s not watched the show will be out to sea. It’s no comic masterpiece but I got a few laughs and a chance to renew my long-time crush on Julia Sawalha.