The lads head to the big screen in the first inbetweeners film and in the tradition of British sitcoms to do the transition they go abroard, explore romantic interests and have a bit of a lull in the middle as 30 minutes is stretched out to 90. But counter to the tradition it is also pretty good.
For those not familiar it concerns four foul-mouthed school/college mates and is narrated by the most sensible of the gang, Will (Simon Bird) who I saw excellently described by Steve Rose as “like a young David Mitchell trapped in an episode of Ibiza Uncovered”.
The film opens with a nice floating shot of Jay using his Internet machine one-handed and you’re immediately reassured that it’s not going to stray too far from the filthy humour of the TV series and into family territory.
There are some very funny sections – dancing in the bar being a favourite, but also sleeping on an ants nest, poolside antics and vomiting on a boat had me laughing.
Yes, this is a little softer and emotional than the TV series, showing the lads feeling like a gang from Reservoir Dogs with a slo-mo shot of them hitting the strip but then later on having them realise that life might be moving on with Uni round the corner. It also has the expected romantic interests which to be fair are quite effective at shoe-horning emotional responses out of the characters.
It falls oddly flat in places – the scene where local rep James makes a joke about a cat/pussy in a bar is really weird – and it lags a little as we wait for the big event at the end, almost as if we are watching it being made up as it goes along. It’s also sonically sparse. There’s one scene which illustrates this where Simon (Joe Thomas) is jumping off a boat and the film is completely silent as if muted, but then someone speaks. Without there being any background incidental sounds it is very weird and makes the film seem hollow. And the main tune is annoying.
It’s funny and entertaining and a fair stab at making a film out of a sitcom, but I can’t help feeling that as the characters develop they are getting a little too close to comfort now. The series captured the situations, conversations and characters that I experienced when I was at school very well, but now thy’re starting to grow older……
3 on 5
Director: Ben Palmer
Starring: Simon Bird, James Buckley, Blake Harrison, Joe Thomas, Emily Head
UK Release: 17th August 2011