Television shows transplanting themselves from small to big screen do not always prove to be particularly successful. It’s a risky move to hope that the goodwill of fans will carry over into the multiplexes and that the quality of story does not get lost in the move from one medium to another. There are probably around half as many successes (Serenity, Mission: Impossible, South Park) as failures (Lost in Space, the Last Airbender, Bewitched, Dukes of Hazzard etc.). Based on the television show The Inbetweeners, the appropriately titled The Inbetweeners Movie thankfully falls in to the group of successes. Fans of the show will have expected this, but non-believers will now surely be converted by an inevitably crude but surprisingly heart-felt farewell to the Inbetweener boys.
Serenity: very good
Bewitched: very not good
The general plot of the show was to watch Will, Simon, Jay and Neil as they tried and failed to have sex and get drunk. The film steps things up and takes the boys from theLondonsuburbs and sends them on their summer holidays toCrete. Once they arrive, looking like four shit Reservoir Dogs, the laughs and booze flow freely and do so for the entire film.
It is very rare for a television show to take its component parts and make itself into a good film. On the occasion when this does happen however it has to be acknowledged and applauded. The Inbetweeners Movie comfortably fits its 97 minute running time. At no point does it feel like the jokes or the story is spread thin. A whole season’s worth of classic moments is crammed into one film. It will be hard to find another release this year that can match The Inbetweeners Movie for the sheer volume of laughs that it has.
The potential for the new Underworld film to be hilariously awful is quite high though
For long time fans of the show all the right notes are hit. There are plenty of sure to be classic lines to take away from The Inbetweeners Movie and everything that was left hanging at the end of the third season is resolved. While there is plenty for the seasoned Inbetweeners fan to enjoy (we finally see Will’s dad, for example), this is not strictly for diehard followers of the show. There is plenty to enjoy here for someone who is going into The Inbetweeners Movie without any prior knowledge.
While it may mainly trade in laughs The Inbetweeners Movie is not without it’s more touching moments. The moment Jay realises that Simon will be going off to University and that their friendship has an expiry date is quite sad. The effort is also made to make this actually look like a film and not just a stretched out episode of the TV show. The opening shot moving down through the clouds and in to the suburbs is impressive. There are plenty of wide shots of beaches, boats and beautiful blue ocean which is a far cry from the smaller scope of the TV show.
If you’re having hard time selling this to your friends just say it’s Superbad, but with English kids (and more laughs)
I am going to tentatively add a second beer for the reason that The Inbetweeners Movie does follow a very clear formula. While it might trump its peers for laughs, it does not try to stray from the structure we would expect of every teen comedy. This is a minor flaw in a very strong film however.
If you want to be lazy about it this is the British Superbad. The Inbetweeners Movie easily stands out on its own however, and is a more than fitting farewell to Will, Simon, Jay and Neil (though considering the strong box office it’s had in the UK already, a sequel is probably on the way so we will get to say goodbye…again!).
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a drink: every time Simon mentions Carly
Take a drink: whenever Simon, Jay, Neil or Will take a drink
Take a drink: whenever Jay says or does something moderately offensive
And if you have the right amounts of courage and stupidity: Drink a suicide shot when Neil drinks his