The success of The Inbetweeners TV series was unprecedented – easily the best thing that will ever come out of E4 – so it was a good idea, financially at least, to release a cinematic finale to top off the 3 short series that stole our nation’s students’ hearts. It definitely had more reason to do so than Kevin and Perry Go Large, anyway.
The film’s general concept stays true to the series: the four lads – Jay (the sex pest), Will (the geek, and the film’s narrator), Simon (the drama queen), and Neil (the thick one) – have all just finished their last term of sixth form and to celebrate they decide to go off on a typical lads holiday to Malia in search of, as Jay stereotypically puts it, ‘Sex, booze, fanny, minge and sex.’ There are more than a few references to that, absolutely, but the bulk of the film consists of the embarrassing and cringe-worthy kind of situations that the four lads are famous for. It is basically an extended episode – but anyone familiar with the series will know that is not, by any means, a bad thing.
The humour sticks to the kind you’ll find in the series and doesn’t try anything too experimental, but more importantly it is quintessentially BRITISH student comedy – something that until now has been restricted to the confinements of crap English sitcoms. It gives us a more appreciable teenage comedy that we, as Brits, can probably relate to more than the brilliant (but exhausted) American Pie series.
However, as typically British as it is, the film tends to go a bit overboard with its tendency to exploit its more romantic and melodramatic moments for a mere shock laugh. Not giving anything away, whenever the boys have a more intimate moment with another character it usually ends up pulling away from the drama so its crude style of British humour can take full priority. This is funny, there’s no doubt about that, but it does become a bit repetitive after a while, so the films lacks a bit of consistency in that sense.
Having said that, The Inbetweeners Movie successfully delivers a decent enough comedy that can at least provide a memorable closure to the series. Much like the series it showcases trivial moments that are both outrageous and bizarrely familiar to us all. Fans of the series will probably say that the series itself was better than the film, but this is just common sense – the series consisted of 18 twenty-two minute episodes, with each one having at least one classic moment. So the 97 minute film had very little hope of competing in the first place (in my opinion, it has about 4 defining moments, as opposed to the innumerable amount in the series).
Overall, although it bares more the impression of a good one-off television film than a full-on cinematic experience, I am one of the millions of fans who are overjoyed to see it given a chance on the big screen, and if you’re looking for the kind of humour that made the series famous in the first place, you shouldn’t be disappointed.
The Inbetweeners Movie (2011), directed by Ben Palmer, is distributed by Entertainment Film Distributors, Certificate 15.