A successful sitcom series in the UK, The Inbetweeners movie is like the final hurrah for its television episodes, which follows the growing pains, life and times of a group of four secondary school friends and their families, with American Pie styled sexual shenanigans and Brit humour. Even if you may not be familiar with the source material, the movie version is quite stand alone, taking place just after their graduation, and like all graduations, it's not complete without that holiday trip with your pals, and in this case, a vacation filled with booze and sex and doing just about anything that nobody will say no to.
So say hello to the "Pussay Patrol" in Will McKenzie (Simon Bird), the main narrator of the film whose nerdy looks betray that one heck of a witty brain filled with wisecracks for any situation, Simon Cooper (Joe Thomas) who is enduring the recent breakup with girlfriend Carli (Emily Head), the "stiffler" equivalent though geekier version in Jay Cartwright (James Buckley) whose the chronic masturbator and crudest member of the lot, often bragging about his various sexual prowess to the rest (every group will not be complete without a braggart), and Neil Sutherland (Blake Harrison), a slow, loyal follower whose dad is often jibed by others for being gay.
The film, directed by Ben Palmer, doesn't take too long nor too deliberate in its introduction of key characters, allowing you to get to know these friends as we move along the narrative, and it isn't hard since each has their particular primary trait that caricatures them. For fans of the television series I'm quite sure they'd prefer to dive right into the thick of the action rather than be given yet another "origin" act, so in this respect, Palmer found the balance required to satisfy both sides. And the deep dive into the thin plot involves the four of them going on a holiday to Malia, Greece, where they're expected to hang out and hang loose on a budget, with expectations of booze and getting laid constantly at the back of their minds.
In terms of quality of comedic moments, this film is somewhat like American Pie in its premise, and developed like the light version of The Hangover film, with the group encountering episodic instances with various people, from the pub promoter right down to the strapping jock of a holiday planner for Carli, who was also there in Malia with her friends, and provided opportunity for Simon to continue his post-breakup infatuation with an ex who is now more into her Greek guide. While the group doesn't have much luck in fulfilling their tour desires, a bumpy road to would be romance comes in the form of a quartet (not the convenience?) in the female group consisting of Alison (Laura Haddock), Lucy (Tamla Karl) who has to ensure Simon's extreme insensitivity, Lisa (Jessica Knappet) the punching bag for plenty of fat jokes, and Jane (Lydia Rose Bewley) being relatively quiet but constantly at the tail end of being rejected for Neil's strange fetish for, shall we say, less conventional and more mature women.
As you can already expect, The Inbetweeners makes plenty of politically incorrect remarks and pokes fun at such situations, never for once feeling apologetic for it. It's a full on raunchy comedy flick that is no holds barred, and everything and anything that can be made fun of, from physical disabilities down to the outright bawdy, crude and toilet humour, will find its own placeholder somewhere in the film. And that's including gratuitous shots of full frontal male nudity, or showing off a particular male appendage in more instances than one. Some will be disgusted by the cavalier manner the film pokes fun at everything, although I will recommend the chill pill when you knowingly opt for something lewd on screen. Most of the jokes hit their mark, although some
Written by the creators Iain Morris and Damon Beesley, The Inbetweeners Movie will be right at home for fans of the American Pie series, who had to endure sub-par sequels in that American delight which is now in pre-production of having yet another sequel made with some quality attached to it to reunite the main cast for one last hurrah. But in the meantime, you may want to switch to an English flavour and who knows may be hooked enough to give the series a go. I am tempted to do that, thanks to this film being a recommended fun romp!