Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie review

GamesRadar+ Verdict

It’s Carry On Up The Catwalk with TV’s favourite fashionistas. The perfect girl’s night out for the Mamma Mia crowd.

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As fizzy as Eddy and Patsy’s Bollinger tipple, this long-awaited big-screen outing for the bungling fashion victims is a brash, flash and jolly romp. Writer/star Jennifer Saunders nimbly steers the dissipated duo into a slapstick set-up, where a desperate Eddy is charged with accidentally killing Kate Moss, and flees to Cannes with fellow outlaw Patsy.

Deft at mocking the Twitterati, as Ab Fab was at nailing the ’90s, the film mercilessly pillories today’s media mourning frenzies, while letting its heroines bitch, booze and blunder their way in search of the Riviera high life. Crammed with celeb-cameos, from Jon Hamm (telling Patsy, “You took my virginity, leave me my sanity!”) to Rebel Wilson’s Taser-wielding air stewardess, the film’s healthy cynicism and director Mandie Fletcher’s rollicking pace help it dodge Zoolander 2 self-parody.

Though it feels obliged to insert Big Issues (fear of ageing, a chain of mother-daughter clashes), it’s the scrappy, sarcastic set pieces (and a nifty Some Like It Hot lift) that give it a fun feel. Since the plot is thinner than any of the many supermodels draped around it, give thanks for Joanna Lumley’s coke-snorting, gold-digging Patsy, whose heartless antics and peerless comic timing keep it all aloft.

More info

DirectorMandie Fletcher
StarringJennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley, Julia Sawalha, Jane Horrocks
Theatrical releaseJuly 1, 2016
Available platformsMovie
Freelance Writer

Kate is a freelance film journalist and critic. Her bylines have appeared online and in print for GamesRadar, Total Film, the BFI, Sight & Sounds, and WithGuitars.com.