The two main characters in the latest reincarnation of Absolutely Fabulous, Edina (Jennifer Saunders) and Patsy (Joanna Lumley), are a perfect example of what people refer to as “hot messes”. They kinda reminded me of some of my friends…..and well me. While watching the movie I could not help but wonder – is this where my life will be headed if I don’t get my shizz together? Wait a minute…is that a bad thing or a good thing? Welp, time to be an adult and make a five year plan.
Many of the original cast returns as the same characters they portrayed in the cult classic early 90s television series dubbed Ab Fab. Fast forward to 2016 where the film continues on with Edina and Patsy’s boozy centric adventures, as they still make bad life decisions and somehow come out on top. They’re sorta like role models on how to wing life and stay delusionally current. Saunders portrayal of Edina as a has been PR agent still trying to hold onto her successful past while STILL trying to lose weight is on point and Lumley’s portrayal Patsy is ever so confident as her loyal sidekick with no shame.
The film starts out at the beginning of Edina’s downfall, her “money cards” are broken, her ex husband can no longer provide spousal support, she has run out of what Patsy refers to as “hand money” and there is no more champagne in the fridge for breakfast. What’s a girl supposed to do. But don’t despair, these two are pros. As luck would have it supermodel Kate Moss is looking for a new PR agent. The duo’s plan is to swoop in at a celebrity party in London, use their millennial granddaughter as bait to lure Moss in and take her for themselves. That is until Edina accidentally knocks Moss into the Thames River. This scene is actually the highlight of the film, mocking how useless/pointless celebrities can be in society. It was really outlandish how everyone was freaking out and calling out Moss’ name while no one in attendance offered to jump in to help the poor woman. My favourite part of the film is how it satirizes the role media/PR plays in society with witty news updates and social media reactions. Edina starts to “trend on twitter” and we soon find our favourite “hot mess duo” on the run because everyone believes that Moss is now dead.
Ab Fab does not fall short of is comical celebrity cameos with the likes of Jon Hamm, Emma Bunton, Stella McCartney and Graham Norton making appearances. My two favourites were Game of Thrones actor Gwendoline Christie – who flexed quite the comedic muscle, and Rebel Wilson- who steals the scene as a filthy mouthed flight attendant ready to put anyone in their place with duct tape.
As with most slapstick comedies the ending was a little too predictable and sort of redundant, but the journey to get there was actually quite thrilling and hilarious. Or as Edina would say, “bloody good fun.”
Fox Searchlight releases Absolutely Fabulous on Friday, July 22, 2016
[All Photography by David Appleby. © 2016 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation]