WARNING: The below post contains material that some may see as spoilers. If you’re sensitive to such things, maybe move on to one of the other fine articles on Crikey.
The Inbetweeners Movie has opened in cinemas this week. Spinning off from the UK TV series, the movie takes the boys from high school to a holiday together in Greece prior to some of them heading off to University.
While the film is a continuation of the TV show, the film does itself a disservice by calling itself ‘The Inbetweeners Movie’. It really does stand up quite well in its own right as a story about a group of grotty friends going on holiday together. The characters are reintroduced nicely and requires no significant prior knowledge of what came before it.
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10. The girls. A group of girls in the film serve as female analogs of the male protagonists, as well as love interests. They’re sort of the Chipettes to the boys Alvin & The Chipmunks. They hold the movie together on a few fronts. They ground the loutish behaviour of the boys nicely by offering a mirror on their behaviour – something that is sorely needed in the film as 90+ minutes of Jay being Jay would be unbearable. The other thing that the film benefits well from is their casting. Not only are they all lovely looking ladies, but they each have a confident screen presence. They’re so self-assured in this that it almost feels like they too are long-term characters who’ve been brought from a series into the film.
9. There really is a lot of penis in this movie. We all know that the key to comedy is a bare male behind and The Inbetweeners Movie is certainly not lacking in that department. But, there’s also a lot of male front bottom going on as well. From the series stars to a very talented nightclub stage performer, this is a film not in short supply.
8. Anthony Stewart Head. The film represents the first time that we’ve been introduced to Will’s father. Head presents such an unengaged air about him here that it is quickly evident where Will has developed his awkward social tendencies.
7. Mr Gilbert. One of the strengths of The Inbetweeners generally is the attitude of the adults in the show. The teenagers in the show and movie often seem to hinder them in some fashion, preventing them from general enjoyment of life. While the parents in the show are given just a handful of scenes in the film, Mr Gilbert delivers this sense of exasperation in bucketloads with an amazing monologue that launches the film and beautifully establishes the relationship the series leads have with their school life.
6. Sandwich meats and expectation. As you’d expect, the film opens nicely with an establishing scene for each of the characters. What you won’t expect is to see exactly how sandwich meats figure in to the very personal world of Jay. Also, don’t expect to want to go to Subway anytime soon after seeing it.
5. Swimming back to shore. The romantic developments of each of the characters go pretty much as expected. If you’ve seen a teen comedy before, you know exactly what to expect in that department. The Inbetweeners nicely subverts expectations with the final grand romantic gesture of swimming back to the shoreline. Sometimes being in the water for that long can have unexpected consequence.
4. The film takes pains to introduce two significant ancillary characters with little payoff. Early into the Greece trip, we’re introduced to an ex-Army soldier vacationing as well as a somewhat-lost teenager. While both are established early in, there seems to be no real-payoff or even a reason for their presence in the movie.
3. Callbacks. While this movie completely stands on its own, there are a few callback moments relating back to the TV series. We get to see Will defy societal expectation in harassing a handicapped girl. And Jay echoes the ‘friend’ voice upon seeing a sign. The jokes stand fine on their own, but fans of the show will recognise the moments for what they are.
2. Carli D’Amato. The danger with a movie spin-off from a TV series is that you don’t want to ruin a good thing. The final episode of the TV series left Simon receiving a text from Carli, but the audience are left uncertain as to exactly what she said, only that he was happy with what she’d said. It is made explicitly clear that the two of them hooked up following the series, but the movie does offer some nice resolution to the Simon/Carli arc. Simon is forced to come to terms with the fact she has absolutely no affection for him. It makes for a lovely resolution to the series.
1. Why did everyone in the film look 32 years old?
So, what now? The Inbetweeners Movie has pulled in over 45 million pounds in box office takings. I’m sure we can expect to see a film with the boys meeting up at Jay’s wedding before too long.