The new Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie is not for the uninitiated. If you're not already a fan of the cultish '90s TV series, chances are you'll have no clue what's supposed to be funny about two clownish women of a certain age in ridiculous clothing attempting to stave off the ravages of time with gallons of champagne, while clinging desperately by their ferociously manicured claws to the ragged fringes of trendy pop culture.
But those who already have a soft spot in their hearts for the ribald and outrageous TV series will find much to chuckle at in the big screen adventures of sad-sack Edina (Jennifer Saunders) and coolly caustic Patsy (Joanna Lumley).
Scripted by series creator Saunders for director Mandie Fletcher (veteran of many of the TV episodes), the movie falls prey to the usual pitfalls of TV-to-film adaptations: it's tough to maintain a coherent storyline and keep delivering the laughs over 90 minutes (instead of 30).
Still, despite the slower passages, the brio with which Eddie and Pats pursue their absurd agenda, in the face of common sense, common decency, and reality, remains oddly cheer-worthy.
|La Dolce Vita: In their dreams.|