5 Things I Loved about the #AbFabMovieSo happy, sweetie-darlings, to have been asked to share my thoughts on Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie. My sister, another fan of the AbFab television show, came along to the screening Monday night at the ArcLight Theater, home of the world-famous Cinerama Dome. Even though it's not a movie based on a book, I was planning on seeing the movie anyway. Throw in free tix, champagne and a stipend and I'm there! I'm sure Patsy & Edina would approve. As always, all opinions are my own.
Most of the audience, like me, were there to have a good time. It's tough out there in the world right now and I was ready for some comic relief. Event host Dave Karger (Today, Access Hollywood, E! and TCM) thanked the audience for coming out as we could have stayed home and watched the Republican National Convention if we just wanted a laugh. And that got the party started.
What I Loved
One ... Characters we lovePatsy (Joanna Lumley) and Edina (Jennifer Saunders) still share that crackling chemistry, that just-this-side of blitzed madness and self-deluded blindness that makes them crazy lovable. Edina's daughter Saffron (Julia Sawalha) remained almost unchanged from her television character with her stolid if judgmental, good sense in stark contrast to her self-obsessed mum.
Two ... The funny-sad state of women in the world
As an older woman, all too familiar in our youth obsessed culture with the sometimes desperate need to look skinnier, younger, sexier, I found myself busting up at the duo's antics. Seeing Jennifer Saunders—who wrote the screenplay—totter around on ridiculously trendy shoes as Edina, and watching Joanna Lumley's Patsy inject her own face with Botox or cows blood or whatever the hell it was, had me laughing in recognition. Not that I'm injecting my own face with anything, mind you, but man there are days I just look in the mirror and go who the hell is that woman? That is, when I can see in the mirror! I seem to grow a bit more blind with every year, so I can totally relate to Edina's make-up mishaps.
Three ... Glamour gone wild
The whole glitzy world of models and jet setters brought to life by a slew of celeb cameos: Jon Hamm, Game of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie, Graham Norton, Dame Edna, Perez Hilton, Jerry Hall, Joan Collins, Lulu, Stella McCartney, Jean Paul Gautier, former spice girl—Baby Spice—Emma Bunton, super models Suki Waterhouse and Alexa Chung, and some other well known faces in the British Isles all played themselves. The key celeb playing herself is Kate Moss, accidentally pushed over the railing of a swishy affair into the Thames, by Edina.
Four ... Saffron's performance of At Seventeen
After Patsy & Edina snatch away Saffron's beautiful fifteen year old daughter, sensing Lola's youth will give them cover, Saffron stumbles into a club filled with transvestites, where Saffron is initially ignored. She wins over the audience with her rendition of Janis Ian's At Seventeen. It's ridiculous that she breaks into song presumably to get the crowd's attention but for those of us familiar with the song from the mid-1970's, it was a beautiful and timely message inserted into the comedic scenery, especially when you think about all the people in the LGBT community, formerly living in the dark, feeling lost and alone, now more and more able to come out into the light.
Five ... The 'Some Like It Hot' Switcheroo
There is a element to the storyline so silly that you'll notice Patsy sporting a mustache in the trailer. A nice homage to Some Like it Hot and the final scene in that classic film when Jack Lemmon, masquerading as a female musician, admits to the wealthy Osgood Fielding the third that he can't marry him because he's not really a woman, he's a man.
"Well," Osgood says "nobody's perfect."
The movie may not be perfect either: Jane Horrock's Bubbles character with her outlandish costumes was a needless irritation, her role in the unraveling, unrealistic. While some of the comedy may have been stretched too thin for some in my audience, most of us laughed our arses off.
Absolutely Fabulous: the movie opens Friday, July 22.
Written by Jennifer Saunders, directed by Mandie Fletcher—yay, a rare female director—starring Saunders and Joanna Lumley, the #AbFabMovie also stars Rebel Wilson, Chris Colfer and Indeyarna Donaldson-Holness as Saffron's daughter, Lola.
This post is made possible by support from Fox Searchlight Pictures. All opinions are my own.