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Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie (15)

More hits than misfires for the fab team

Ab FabAbsolutely Fabulous is back to its fabulous best as Jennifer Saunders proves she hasn’t lost her magic touch.

In the four years since the last Ab Fab special (13 years since series five!) Edina and Patsy are still barely working, dabbling in drugs and botox, and being rude to Edina’s put-upon daughter Saffy.

But in this movie adaptation of the classic television comedy the good times are threatening to end.

When Edina realises that her ‘cards are broken’ and she is out of funds, she accidentally finds herself accused of murder and concocts a plan with Patsy to find a way out of the country to a place where they can keep up their extravagant lifestyles.

Roping in her granddaughter Lola, they are pursued by several celebrities, the police and Saffy, who really is rather fed up with everything.  

Featuring a charmingly haphazard plot the Ab Fab movie is a non-stop slew of cameos and jokes from start to finish. There are more hits than misfires and the screenplay is true to the series that spawned it.

It touches on many current issues and recent news stories, and brings us up to day with the ever-changing social networks. Edina asks Bubble: “Have you fed my Twitter?”, but it is clear while wanting to remain young and hip, our ageing delinquent heroines are hopelessly out of step with new media. 

What drives the film, however, is the loyal and sweet friendship between the two leads. Patsy’s offer to Edina to use her as her mirror (to avoid looking in the real one) works both as a joke and also to show the pair – who dismiss everyone else – are always there for each other.

This affection is not restricted to their screen roles. It is easy to see how much Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley enjoy playing their alter egos, which is made apparent by the great chemistry between them.

General release: (90 minutes)

Rating *** (**)

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