Rating: **** (4/5 stars)
I wasn’t sure how much I was going to enjoy The Inbetweeners Movie, because: 1. TV-to-movie adaptations have a bad history, and 2. A ‘lads holiday’ movie would usually be the opposite of what I would want to watch. However, I decided to give it a go as I used to enjoy the TV sitcom.
I’m really glad I did — I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it, especially considering that Steve said it was almost exactly like Kevin and Perry Go Large, which I do not consider a good thing!
For a TV-to-movie it had just the right balance. It didn’t stray far from the brilliant formula of the show — everything good about it was there and it was totally believable that this is what the characters would do next (as I believe Simon Bird has said). Yet it was also sufficiently different and monumental to be a film – there was a strong story line that took the boys full-circle and gave a fitting end to the whole series.
The basic premise, as should be obvious from the advertising, is that the four inbetweeners go on a typical lad’s partying holiday to Malia, Greece. Inevitably, things don’t turn out as brilliantly as they imagined. There are many points at which their situation seems so tragic that it’s hilarious – in fact it’s their own tragic, cringe-inducing awkwardness, as usual, that brings the best laughs. I have never experienced such crowd-wide rolling in the isles as I did during the boy’s dance sequence near the beginning!
Although humour is the film’s main aim, it’s also surprisingly moral and heart-warming. While remaining true to character (Simon’s still pathetically pining after Carly, Jay’s still toe-curlingly crude and a shocking liar, etc) the boys seem to learn valuable lessons as the defences come down and they discover their own follies, as well as what’s really important to being happy. Most of this, of course, is due to the girls they meet. I thought these girls were lovely — much more likeable than the TV show’s regular female cast, with more-developed personalities and individual weaknesses. That said, I found them quite unrealistic in how unashamedly forgiving they were and how keen to fulfil the boy’s desires.
However, this touch of idealism didn’t really hurt the film — in fact it was more-or-less necessary in order to ensure a fulfilling ending, which I’m sure all Inbetweeners fans want. I think this film provides the ideal ending to the brilliant series and would recommend any fan (although it’s not necessary to have seen the show in order to enjoy the film) rushes out to see it.