Cert: 15 Runtime: 97 minsDirector: Ben Palmer Cast: Simon Bird, James Buckley, Blake Harrison, Joe Thomas, Emily Head, Belinda Stewart-Wilson, Jessica Knappet,Tamla Kari, Laura Haddock and Anthony Head
We haven’t come half way round the world to look at some fucking Greek ruins
One of the greatest Britsh comedies in recent years has after 3 great seasons arrived on the big screen, The Inbetweeners has become one of the British institutions in popular culture with catchprashes such as ‘Bus Wankers’, ‘Bumder’ and ‘Clunge’. After the announcment of Season 3 being the final series it was inevitable that they were going to make a film. The plot is simple, Will (Simon Bird), Jay (James Buckley), Neil (Blake Harrison) and Simon (Joe Thomas) – on their last day of college. As Simon is surprise-dumped by the girl he has been chasing for the entire run of the series, Carly (Emily Head), the collective newfound freedom of the group prompts them to up sticks to Greece for a debauched lads’ holiday. While for the other three it’s all about booze and sex ad literal nauseum, for Simon it’s about winning Carly back once he realises she is also in town. Once they chance upon a group of like-minded British girls nearby, though, things change considerably, and they come to wonder if they might all have had their fortunes turn around.
I can imagine what happens next could have happened on the show. There’s a sense of scale to the film that has never been present on TV, but the normality of everyone involved always comes round to ground things in reality.There’s a slow motion walk through the airport close to the film’s beginning, and it’s closely followed by the realisation from the four leads that their flight’s been delayed for seven hours and their t-shirts (‘Pussay Patrol’) are too offensive to be worn on board. Whenever there’s a moment of potential poignancy or Hollywood sheen allowed to creep into the edges of the frame, it’s quickly brought crashing down into the grim reality as only the British do so well.Things obviously don’t go to plan, and there’s an overriding sense that the boys will go their separate ways come their return home. This separation after school is something that’s been dealt with a lot, but it’s not discussed at any length during The Inbetweeners TV sho. The four of them were always unnatural friends, and these personality clashes and tensions explode more than once across the duration of the holiday. Yet one look at Jay’s face when he realises he’s being left behind says everything lesser films might spend half an hour explaining.
The tagline for the film tells us that ‘boys will become men’, but that’s not what The Inbetweeners has ever been about. They have their little triumphs alongside the embarrassing moments and hilarious situations, and you’ll leave the cinema with a smile and comforting sense that they’d be alright in the end. The movie is a rare beast in that, instead of riding on the show’s success for the sake of it, it rounds the story off, ruining none of the show’s charming simplicity in the process. It’s a real achievement, and a film that deserves a lot of success for not only successfully navigating a tricky path, but also delivering an amazingly good comedy in the process. The best comedy this year 8.0/10