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Sun, Sex, Sea, Sex, Booze and Sex: The Inbetweeners Movie – A Review

October 14, 2011

The Inbetweeners, the comedy brainchild of Damon Beesley and Iain Morris, has, since its first airing in 2008, over the course of time become an increasingly popular part of British teen culture. Its protagonists – Will, Simon, Neil and Jay – have given voice to some of the more memorable, if not slightly vulgar (and unrepeatable in polite society), phrases of recent times. The three series that have aired between 2008 and the present day have engaged with not only the niche audience made up of the peers of the 6th form characters, but their juniors and seniors too – The Inbetweeners gives young teenagers something to look forward to, and leaves those who have recently (or in my case long since) left 6th form behind with a fond nostalgia for their ever-fading youth. The Inbetweeners Movie is the perfect conclusion to the escapades of these British teens, as they leave their school years behind and embark upon the long journey that is adulthood.

Based on the premise of the “lads’ holiday” that has recently become a fashionable rite of passage among 18-21 year olds and essentially involves drinking all night and sleeping off the night before by the pool the following day, The Inbetweeners Movie sees the boys going on holiday to Malia, the famed destination for such trips as described. Between them they manage to perform some embarrassingly good dance moves,“befriend” a much older lady, fight in the street like common hoodlums, sell all of Simon’s clothes, sleep in an ants’ nest and defecate in a bidet, and yet somehow also each find what turns out to be the girl of their dreams before returning home, and all in the space of a week. If only we could all be so productive with our free time! I have read many reviews that described the film as “like one long episode”, and that is exactly how I found it. The characters have been transferred seamlessly from the TV platform to the film, maintaining all their quirks and memorable characteristics without becoming tired and over-done. All of the adult characters are included too, ranging from Mr Gilbert, the head of 6th, to Will’s mum to Neil’s ambiguously oriented father, reinforcing the strength of the transition between media platforms. Not many new characters are introduced either, and those that are appear in a context that is perfectly natural and are established quite organically into the Inbetweeners world. The humour is well enough paced that no gag becomes tiresome; I wouldn’t call this film “laugh a minute”, but it was consistently amusing throughout and enough so that I found myself, as is quite rare for me, laughing out loud at some of the scenes.

When considering the film industry widely, one will notice that of all films produced, not many of them are adapted from successful TV shows. There is a reason for this – namely, they don’t generally work and therefore don’t enjoy the same success as their TV counterparts. The only examples I can think of are old and dreadful; for example The Rugrats Movie or The Power Rangers Movie. The Inbetweeners Movie though, far from diminishing the success of the TV show as past TV to film adaptations have done, actually enriches the Inbetweeners experience.  Overall, The Inbetweeners Movie is a film aimed at and made for Inbetweeners fans. If you weren’t a fan of the TV show, it’s unlikely that you’ll be a fan of the film. But I am a fan, and I loved it. The Inbetweeners Movie is the crowning glory of what can only be described as a phenomenon in British youth culture. It’s just a shame it had to end.

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