Film Review: The Inbetweeners Movie

I have to admit it's been some time since I saw a film at the cinema. Back when I lived in Lancashire, the cinemas were fairly difficult to get to, and since moving to London I just haven't had the time. However, there are lots of films coming out soon that I want to see, and one of those was The Inbetweeners Movie. For those who don't know of it, it's based on a TV series about four geeky awkward teenage boys - intellectual Will, lovelorn Simon, dopey Neil and foul-mouthed Jay - and follows their adventures on a last lads' holiday in Malia before they go their separate ways after sixth form. Hilarity, cringing and a lot of nudity ensue.

I make no bones about the fact that I am a huge fan of The Inbetweeners TV show and had high hopes for this film. Yes it's something of a 70s British sitcom cliche to take your characters on holiday, but this is what teenagers do in 2011 and so it feels like the right place for them to go, as well as all the daft things that go with it such as fishbowl cocktails and dodgy hoteliers. Having never been on one of 'those' holidays when I was 18, I must admit it gave me mixed emotions in terms of wishing I had and then really wishing I hadn't. Sadly I suspect I would have been very much like Will - not handling my drink very well, overanalysing everything and (in large part) failing miserably to pull - but the fact they manage to make it look fun even when it's eye-coveringly terrible is a tribute to the writers and director.

This is balanced by excellent performances from the four main actors who have matured incredibly well from when we first saw them; the endless mickey-taking is still there, but they're also able to portray a true level of support and an almost poignant sense of loss at the end of an era. Although you don't get much more insight into why they are how they are (other than Will's dad being equally as harsh as Jay's, in an entirely different way - watch it to understand why), you're also left with the sense that these are friendships which will last. However, the standout turn has to be Blake Harrison as Neil, both for managing to give his character some surprising depths and displaying some brilliantly funny dance moves which will surely become a craze in a club near you within weeks. The writers have also managed to provide strong parts for the main female leads, particularly Jane, the sparky girl who might be what Gok Wan would describe as 'curvy' but holds her own and more with Jay, and Will's love interest witty and charming Alison.

There are a few jokes in it which feel like they've been rehashed from the TV series, and the slightly sweet ending feels a bit unnatural after three series of watching everything end badly for the Rudge Park boys, but overall if you're a fan of the show you will absolutely love it and it's easily the most I've laughed at any film in a very long time. Highly recommended.

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