Taking a British sitcom on holiday is not a new idea. On The Buses did it, so did Only Fools And Horses, but The Inbetweeners seems the most obvious choice. As Will, Jay, Simon and Neil finish school, they decide to go on a ‘mental holiday’ before going their separate ways after the summer. The destination is Malia in Greece as the four friends seek sun, booze and more clunge than they can possibly handle.
As far as the plot goes, that’s pretty much it. The movie begins by re-introducing the four main characters. Will has a chat with his father (a cameo from Antony Head), who announces that he’s recently gotten re-married (Will wasn’t invited) and who mocks Will for his awkwardness. Neil is working on the meat counter in a supermarket and has a girlfriend, Simon isn’t moving to Wales any more, but Carli breaks up with him, and Jay gets caught naked watching a webcam show by his mother who tells him his grandfather has died.
Once the lads are on holiday, the usual Inbetweeners mix of gross-out humour, embarrassment and awkwardness and creative swearing is the main driving force behind their adventures. After discovering their hotel is a dump, they venture out on their first night, and get duped into going in an empty pub where they meet four girls. Will hits it off with one of them, while Simon bores another by talking non-stop about how great Carli is. Meanwhile, Jay is getting hammered while Neil has some fun with a, let’s say ‘mature’ lady.
Although The Inbetweeners Movie is very funny in places, it’s not particularly original. Most plot-lines can be guessed fairly easily, and there’s an abundance of stereotypes and clichés that you’ll see coming a mile off. There’s a holiday rep who thinks he’s all that, an overweight girl who is the butt of the jokes at first, but becomes the object of affection for one of the lads, and there’s a lot of the ‘Englishmen abroad’ style humour that you’d expect from an Only Fools And Horses special.
Each of the Inbetweeners gets their share of the best lines, and all of them end up naked or nearly naked at one stage, with James Buckley being the one left most exposed after a running battle with a young boy ends badly for Jay.
The movie is roughly the length of three episodes of the show, and unsurprisingly there are moments where the comedy stops and ‘serious issues’ are addressed. While watching the movie in a packed room, the silence was deafening during these moments, and it almost seemed like the writers couldn’t quite decide if they wanted to make an American Pie style comedy, or a light-hearted coming of age teen movie.
With that in mind, the boys have all grown up to an extent by the end of the movie and seem ready to go their separate ways with what feels like a definitive ending to the series. To sum up, The Inbetweeners Movie is an above average comedy that has plenty of laugh out loud moments, and the kind of ‘eurgh’ moments you expect from the four main characters. That said, even with a relatively short running time, it feels like it could have been more tightly scripted and condensed somewhat.
The Inbetweeners Movie is not without its flaws, but the original series was so successful that the money the movie makes will more than likely reflect that. The big question is, what next for Simon Bird (Will), Joe Thomas (Simon), James Buckley (Jay) and Blake Harrison (Neil)?