Already a UK box office smash, the entire country seems to be lapping up The Inbetweeners’ big screen debut, and rightly so. Taking a successful TV series to the big screen has proved to be a mistake in the past as the characters are much more suited to a mere thirty minute run. This is definitely not the case with Will (Simon Bird), Simon (Joe Thomas), Jay (James Buckley) and Neil (Blake Harrison).
Like the majority of the episodes, the plot of the film is very lightweight, yet painstakingly realistic. The writers have given audiences exactly what they expected but, more importantly, exactly what they wanted; the four hapless, hopeless boys, fending for themselves on a ‘lads holiday’, focusing on hilarious mishaps, unforgettable one liners and heart warming friendships.
An emotional mess due to his breakup with Carli (Emily Head), Simon is taken away by Will, Jay and Neil to the party location of Malia for their first holiday without parental guidance. In what Jay promises to be two weeks of, ‘sun, sea, booze, minge, fanny and sex and tits and booze and sex’ the four loveable losers stumble from disaster to disaster. Putting TV characters on a plane and plonking them in exotic climates is not exactly original yet never before has it been so successful. Also, most young boys around eighteen do indeed go abroad for the first time without parents – it is a sort of rites of passage which writers Damon Beesley and Iain Morris explore wonderfully.
A major theme from the TV series is the boy’s quest to be meet girls; this is also the main driving force in the movie. The female version of ‘The Inbetweeners’ in the movie aren’t anything close to as hopeless as the boys yet the similarities they do share make the holiday romance sequences rather touching. It is also nice to see the socially disastrous Will charming the beautiful Alison (Laura Haddock). This is quite possibly the writers re-writing their own adolescent fantasises, but why not? Jay is paired with a girl who is a little larger than average who manages to bring out Jay’s softer side, a pleasant side to see considering the Jay we see at the beginning of the film is equipped with a laptop, a snorkel and mask and a packet of wafer thin ham… Simon is paired with the lovely Lucy, a girl much nicer than Carli (he doesn’t realise right away…) and Neil is paired with a girl who is so similar to himself it is frightening.
The plot is lightweight yet it is enough to keep the ball rolling. The jokes come thick and fast and the crude humour is stomach turning. Look out for Kitty the dinner lady and Neil’s huge poo in the ‘children’s toilet’. The characters from the series are developed wonderfully in the movie, they’ll make you laugh and, at times, they may even make you cry. The film has genuinely touching moments which are handled exactly how you would expect teenage boys to handle them. The script is top notch and the performances from the four leads are sensational. As British comedies go, The Inbetweeners Movie is first rate. The movie is a great send off for the boys and will leave fans eager for a fourth series or a second movie but perhaps the writers may want to quit while they are ahead – and ahead they most certainly are.
Best performance: James Buckley as Jay Cartwright.
Best scene: The dancing scene!
Best line: Will: ‘So smelling like an industrial accident in a Lynx factory and looking like the world’s shittest boyband, we hit the town.’ (Many, many more hilarious one liners.)
Watch this if you liked: The TV series, Kevin and Perry Go Large.