Thursday, September 01, 2011

The Inbetweeners Movie (2011)

Theatrical Poster
Source: Wikipedia
The socially inept 18-year-olds Will (Simon Bird), Simon (Joe Thomas), Jay (James Buckley) and Neil (Blake Harrison) have just escaped the clutches of Mr Gilbert (Greg Davies) and managed to finish their second year of sixth form with the dignities - almost - intact.

Following on from the finale of the TV Series, Simon finally has the girl of his dreams, Carli D'Amato (Emily Head), but when she dumps him he decides to ask the advice of his friends who promptly explain that the only solution would be a lads holiday to the Greek resort of Malia.

Despite Simon's pining for Carli, the group find their perfect girls and resort to their bad traditional attempts to seduce them, including, but not limited to, ultra-modern dancing, skinny dipping and drowning 9-year-old children.

TV-to-film adaptations are nothing new. Once the material has become old or the series has come to a conclusion, the producers often find tiring ways to resurrect their masterpieces from the dusting box sets on the shelves of HMV. The Inbetweeners is no different and, with the series coming to the end of its possible run (the lads' adventures would arguably be far less interesting without the school environment), the movie equivalent is seen as a party to mark its send-off from television.

Before continuing with this review, you ought to know that if you've never seen The Inbetweeners or have no idea what a 'bumder' is the amalgamation of, then the movie is simply not for you. You ought to nip out - right now - to the shops and pick yourself up a copy of the box set. Alternatively, if you're in the UK, you could probably catch a couple of episodes each week on E4. That said though, even if you've already seen the "Pussay Patrol" through that box in your living room you could be in for a shock. The Inbetweeners Movie is far ruder than anything from the TV.

Truth be told, The Inbetweeners Movie is a superb addition to the character development of Will, Jay, Simon and Neil. Throughout the film the boys are exposed for what they really are; four young men trying desperately to make it to the end of holiday boat party where everyone who is anyone will be. This vulnerable side of the characters is rarely seen on TV, so the show should be commended for having the tenacity to stand up and - sometimes literally - bare the characters in front of a different audience. The addition of four new girls adds an extra welcome bit of variety to the pot enabling the boys to express a whole heap of inventive ways to look stupid in front a girl.

On the other hand, the real core of the characters is occasionally lost on the big screen. Will's dry humour comes across as intermittently bitter and Simon's naivity verges on pathetic. A lot of the other original humour is also lost. Gone are the subtle one-liners, replaced by vulgarity and humour that is often overdone. That said, we should remember that we're no longer watching a Brit comedy, but a teen comedy where laughs can be had by just showing - cue the muffled giggles - willies.

Whilst it may drag the appeal to a wider audience, core fans may be disappointed that the 5-star TV series is clearly superior.

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