Entertainment & Arts

Absolutely Fabulous gets positive reviews

Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders at the Absolutely Fabulous premiere Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders' chemistry on screen has been praised by critics

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie has premiered in London to good reviews.

The big-screen version of the TV sitcom sees Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley reprising their roles as Edina and Patsy.

The show was last on TV five years ago when there were three specials to celebrate the show's 20th anniversary.

The film has had four-star and three-star reviews. The Telegraph called it "a strong comeback", while the Mail said it was "continuous silly fun".

Writing in the Daily Mail, Libby Purves awarded the film four stars.

"Jokes spring out at you from our crumpled old friends, sharp and fresh and silly and fast and pleasingly tasteless. Twenty-five years on, it's far better than it has any right to be."

Writing in The Guardian, Peter Bradshaw said: "Joanna Lumley saves this film.

"She has an imperishable hauteur and comedy-charisma. She is the garden bridge that stops this film from collapsing into the Thames. You don't need silly cameos when you've got Lumley. The scene at the beginning when she injects her face with Botox is a showstopper."

The Sun's Dan Wootton wrote: "Saunders and Lumley are simply superb - their comic timing's better than ever and pop-culture commentary sharp."

"But the surprise star turn is Julia Sawalha, who finally gets her moment in the spotlight as Eddy's long-suffering daughter Saffy.

"There are moments of genuine tenderness between mother and daughter that will bring a tear to the eye of Ab Fab loyalists."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Celia Imrie, Julia Sawalha and Jane Horrocks from the TV show reprise their roles in the film

David Edwards of the Daily Mirror described the movie as "absolutely hilarious" in a four-star review.

"Director Mandie Fletcher, working from Saunders' screenplay, has played a blinder, ramping up the total lack of sobriety over 90 minutes.

"But the real highlights are the cameos from 50-odd familiar faces, including Joan Collins and Judith Chalmers."

The Telegraph gave the film three stars calling it "a strong comeback".

Critic Robbie Collin said: "While you can't imagine the film ever making it to Cannes under anything other than its own steam, the jaunt proves to be a surprisingly worthwhile one."

Heat's film editor Charles Gant said: "Fans are unlikely to be disappointed."

"It's amply funny, while offering just enough emotional depth without sacrificing Ab Fab's mischievous essence."

Endearing shambles

Leslie Felperin in The Hollywood Reporter pointed out: "That making-it-up-as-they-go sloppiness has always been part of the Ab Fab brand's charm, but over the course of a 91-minute film the frayed seams and safety pin-fastenings are more obvious."

But she summed it up as "an endearing shambles, much like the original show".

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Kate Moss (L) and Tinie Tempah (R) have cameos in the film and Kylie Minogue sings the theme song

Variety said the "long-awaited big-screen outing for TV's favourite female hedonists" brought "some necessary fizz to Britain's glum summer."

Speaking of the numerous cameos from famous faces, film critic Guy Lodge said:

"A personal appearance by the Queen herself would do little to distract from the joyous, film-driving chemistry between Saunders and Lumley, two effervescent pros who fit each other as comfortably as a sensible pair of flat-heeled shoes."

Empire film magazine gives the film three stars but said it "comes close to disaster".

Critic Helen O'hara said it is saved by the "fizzing chemistry" of Saunders and Lumley.

"This is at its best when it focuses on two women behaving badly, downing Bolly with fags in their hands and drugs in their hair. The laughs come and go, but Edina and Patsy are classics."

Follow us on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts, on Instagram, or email entertainment.news@bbc.co.uk.

More on this story

Around the BBC

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites