Absolutely Fabulous the movie is based on the classic 90s and early 2000s British sitcom revolving around Edina (Eddy) Monsoon, a PR agent, and Patsy Stone, a magazine editor. I haven’t watched any Ab Fab in a while, but I remember really liking the program. However previous films based on a comedy show (Mrs. Brown’s Boys D’Movie or The Bad Education Movie) tend to not be much good.
That said I really liked Absolutely Fabulous the movie. It is essentially a satire on the nature of celebrity and the whole culture of the fashion industry, and it really succeeds on this level. 2016 is a year where the abomination that is Zoolander 2 exists; here is a far better British answer to it. Really Ab Fab is a film that is about the obsessive nature of this world. Both from those on the outside wanting to consume stories and news about it, and those in it, who are far extremely self-centred and want ‘it all’. This is something that really comes through well in the film. The news coverage after Kate Moss is supposedly killed by Eddy is hilariously over the top, and perfectly summed up in a quote from cameo Jeremy Paxman “isn’t there anything else happening?”.
The core cast is just that from the TV show, and so are all obviously very used to playing these characters, and do it very well. Jennifer Saunders, as the lead Eddy, is brilliant. She brings the classic character back to life on the bring screen. She manages to be hilarious, but also, as the film moves on we see her bring a real pathos to the character. Joanna Lumley as Patsy brings exactly what you expect from Patsy, and is, along with Saunders, the best things about the film. Julia Sawalha gets a very prominent role as Eddy’s daughter Saffy. A lot of her story is about her relationship with both her mother and own daughter. The Eddy and Saffy stuff works really well, less so Saffy and her own daughter, which felt rushed towards the end. There is a slew of celeb cameos, a lot of which worked much better than the similar Zoolander 2.
I think most importantly, Ab Fab is funny. The question might be asked as to whether it feels a little like an extended sitcom episode at time? And the answer to that is certainly yes, especially in the story department. But the charm and comedy power of Saunders and Lumley do enough to overcome that. And you will laugh, and laugh hard quite a lot throughout the film. If you’re a fan of the original Ab Fab TV show them you won’t be disappointed, and you should certainly go and see it.