Absolutely Fabulous the Movie - Absolute Fabulousness Corrupts Absolutely
| I recognize that British humour is very different from what we're used to on this side of the pond. Often Brit sitcoms are edited far more harshly than the more lyric pass of an American comedy show. It's tone if often more biting, sharper, cruel. Absolutely Fabulous was often a good example of this. North Americans are used to a different kind of comedy. For those not accustomed to the rhythm and severity of Brit comedy, it can be abrasive at first. Once you get into the swing of it, the intensity of the laughs can be appreciated. In short doses, something as extreme as Eddy and Patsy's adventures can be riveting and sidesplitting. A movie, even a short one like this, demands more of our attention.
As we have seen with Bean sometimes stretching a sitcom length idea into a full length movie doesn't always translate well. (Although the superior Mr. Bean's Holiday was far more watchable.) Absolutely Fabulous the Movie feels as harshly edited as the TV did, and is just as filthy and shocking, but it goes on for longer. Do Eddy and Patsy remain as entertaining when you have to ride them out for longer? I'm not sure they do. The aggressive nature of the comedy is highlighted and the plot just doesn't compel you enough throughout.
Abfab has always been offensive. The saving grace of the comedy is that we are laughing at our heroines not with them. The worse they get the more we laugh, not because we aren't offended but because we are. They do and say horrible things and they are mocked FOR doing it. The film actually does some selfaware redeeming of Eddy near the end, and then conveniently has her regret all her apologizing in classic Eddy form. But despite that cathartic energy, it still gets to be much suffering through their horriblness for this long. Even though the film is short by film standards, it is still likely too long to be perfect.
There are moments in Abfab the Movie which are brilliantly hilarious and there are clever comedy comments on society which will make you smile. But there are too many jokes, jaggedly timed by ruthless editors, which fall flat. So Abfab just isn't as funny as it was on TV. I admit I still enjoyed it, but no where near as much as I thought I would. Perhaps if I was laughing more consistently throughout I wouldn't have had time to think about what was wrong with the film.