Monday, 12 September 2011

Review: The Inbetweeners Movie

Rating: 15
Duration: 97 mins

Inevitably we are presented with a film version of the successful Channel 4 show that has recently concluded its third series. Such progression was to be expected as we are gifted with a UK version of American Pie, involving hapless quartet, Will (Simon Bird), Jay (James Buckley), Simon (Joe Thomas) and Neil (Blake Harrison), desperate to 'party hard' on a holiday of sun, booze and lady folk, in an attempt to lose one's virginity before University.

Whilst there are some very funny moments such as a Neil-inspired group dance, a feeble public disagreement between Simon and Jay and an unfortunately located ant-hill where the latter drunkenly decides to sleep, the obligatory toilet jokes and frivolity that accompany it feel a little stale and wear thin quickly. The series was a hit due to the bond between the friends, but whilst that element is here, it feels heavy handed and doesn't ignite the same spark.

As you'd expect, the boys are the most developed of the script's characters, yet others feel clumsily written, such as Simon's ongoing love infatuation, Carli (Emily Head), who assumes a different, and frankly unlikable, persona to her show counterpart. Similarly the bullies of the piece are paper thin, written very one-dimensionally and the girls acting as our protagonist's romantic interests are simply bad actors. This makes the plot painfully obvious as to its outcome as we endure bland and all-too-serious, dialogue-heavy moments. The balance isn't quite right, as it comes across as more of a drama than a comedy. There's too many one-on-one scenes that oddly lack any background sound, often giving it a sterile, studio-feel to what were intended as emotional turning points.

The story doesn't follow any particular narrative direction with a synopsis that can amount to 'a group of lads on holiday having a laugh', which might suffice for some, but will bore others; you'll begin to laugh for the sake of laughing. Smaller, more manageable episodes prove more effective than this feature as the story drags exuding bursts of charm, which save it from being labelled a terrible film.

The Inbetweeners Movie is a mildly amusing, throw-away comedy that doesn't live up to the high standards of the TV show, nor is it as well written. It'll entertain fans and those looking for something home-grown to see this year.