Let’s be honest, there aren’t many great UK youth movies out there, it is something that I have to begrudgingly admit that the Americans do a lot better. So hats off, then, to The Inbetweeners Movie, because it has managed to put it’s self out there with the panache of a Yank flic but with the fundamental feel of the best of Brit comedy. If you have Kevin & Perry Go Large in your head, forget it. This is much closer to Superbad… but with more jokes about lady parts.
What I really love about this movie, when looking at it from a production side of things, is that it is essentially just a feature length inbetweeners episode. I hate it when a TV show is made into a movie and all sorts of “improvements” are made, but in this movie we have the same cast, same feel, same dirty old jokes. Happily though, you can see that some money has been spent on this film, but not in the way that the production values have got in the way of the story, or mythos of the TV show, which it so often can with this sort of film.
From the direction and editing side of the film, one thing that stood out for me is that there are so many strategic uses of slow motion to great effect like the boys in ‘Pussay Patrol’ T-shirts coming out of a hotel like rubbish Reservoir Dogs or the inevitable mid film montage with “the dance” (if you have seen it you will know what I mean) the affect is used very skilfully, increasing the comedy, without laying it on too thick.
At the end of the day, The Inbetweeners has always been about its central friendship and amidst the vomit and the virginity losing, the film delivers a realistic believable portrait of four young blokes, look out for a touching discussion as the penny drops that university might spell the end of the friendship. The performances from Bird, Thomas, Buckley and Harrisonare pitch-perfect and amplify a sweetness that is only an undercurrent in the show. Lessons are learned - one huge element of the show is laid to rest - and friendships cemented, although never in a soppy way. As they arrive back in Blighty, the unthinkable might have happened: they might have come of age.
For fans of the show I don’t think a much better movie could have been made for them, for casual viewers, like me, this is a reasonably entertaining movie when compared to comedy movies in general, but when comparing it to the Kevin and Perry’s of yester year, it’s a bloody masterpiece!