Film Of The Week: Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie

ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS: THE MOVIE (15, 91 mins)

Released: July 1 (UK & Ireland)

Sweetie darling, fetch the Bolly and light me a ciggy. You guessed it, after over 20 years, Absolutely Fabulous is back – but this time it’s more celluloid than cellulite as Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders bring their alter egos to the big screen.

Yes, terrible twosome Eddy and Patsy are on the rampage again – and just like colonic irrigation, Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie is not to be sniffed at. Directed by Mandie Fletcher, the movie spin-off of the multi-award-winning sitcom arrives four years after a trio of 20th anniversary special episodes were broadcast on BBC One. And how good it is to have it back.

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie sees best buddies Eddy (Saunders) and Patsy (Lumley) embroiled in a PR nightmare after accidentally “killing Kate Moss”.

When we join the hapless pair, Eddy is in the PR doldrums. Her client list has dwindled down to include just Lulu and Baby Spice and she’s still wrestling with her strait-laced daughter Saffy (Julia Sawalha), who now has a teenage daughter of her own called Lola (Indeyarna Donaldson-Holness). No matter, Patsy’s still got some clout in the world of fashion and her magazine is sponsoring the star-studded Huki Muki Retrospective launch party.

Moss, who is currently between PRs, is due to attend the launch and Eddy reckons she can woo the English rose and land her before arch rival Claudia Bing (Celia Imrie) of Bing, Bing, Bing & Bing. The hare-brained scheme goes tragically awry when, during the glitzy bash attended by celebs like Stella McCartney and Jon Hamm, Eddy accidently pushes the world’s most famous supermodel into the River Thames.

Their names now dirt, Eddy and Patsy are forced to flee to the French Riviera – flying with Budget Wings, a new experience for them – to escape the media storm as the fashion world points the perfectly manicured finger of blame at them Once they arrive in the Cote d’Azur, Eddy and Pasty plan to make their troubles go away by snaring wealthy husbands. “This is my old hunting-ground, plenty of prey out there,” says Patsy. “They won’t need beaters to flush them out once they sniff me out, up the Croisette.”

The film features a host of cameos – including Jean Paul Gaultier, Rebel Wilson, Emma Bunton, Tinie Tempah, Jerry Hall and many, many more – but there’s no doubting who the real stars are. Saunders is in fine form as the sulking Eddy, but it’s Lumley who steals the movie as the chain-smoking, lip-curling Patsy.

Absolutely Fabulous indeed. Great to have you back, sweetie darlings.

Words: Gary Flockhart