Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie (2016) – reviewed by George

Edina (Jennifer Saunders) and Patsy (Joanna Lumley) are leeches on the body politic. They mirror self-absorption, greed, lying, nastiness, snd general bitchery. Aging gracelessly is their speciality. All of which is forgiven when they are funny. And is hopelessly unbearable when they are not. Thanks be to someone, here they are mostly pretty darned funny, rather than breezingly silly. Written by Jennifer Saunders and directed by Mandie Fletcher.
Edina is having a rough patch with her PR business and needs new clients. She hears that Kate Moss has fired her PR team and rushes to a cocktail party to put the big sell on Kate. Unfortunately her rival and nemesis, Claudia Bing (Celia Imrie), is there on the exact same quest, and as they jostle each other, elbowing their way to Kate, who is sitting on the balcony wall, Edina makes a last push and gets there first, but too fast. She knocks into Kate and accidentally slams her off the wall and into the Thames. And she doesn’t surface!
Now, with the paparazzi, not to mention the entire fashion world, after her for the murder of Kate Moss, Edina tries desperately to scrape together enough money to get out of the country, and of course Patsy, also short on funds, is dragged into the plan.
First, however, they try to prove Edina innocent by putting an inflated costume and a headlamp on Edina’s assistant Bubble (Jane Horrocks). When they row into the Thames late at night and cast Bubble overboard she sinks and does not reappear. Now the Riviera has become the essential destination.
Funds are provided, and France, here we come. Hijinks abroad include Patsy marrying the world’s wealthiest woman, and the discovery of both Kate Moss and Bubble alive and well.
The script is practically buried under cameos. From the worlds of fashion and entertainment (and only including the small number of people that I recognized or who were identified in the dialogue): Emma Bunton, Dawn French, Rebel Wilson, Barry Humphries (playing himself, not Dame Edna), Joan Collins, Lulu, Mo Gaffney, Mark Gatiss, Graham Norton, Suki Waterhouse, Stella McCartney, Jerry Hall, Jon Hamm, and Chris Colfer,
There is one other featured performer, Julia Sawalha, who plays Edina’s put-upon, totally sympathetic daughter Saffy.
Outrageous, profane, totally nuts, with some laughs along the way, this is basically an hour and a half of fun. But I would like to see Chris Colfer get to play straight once in a while; he’s an actor for corn’s sake!

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