Sunday, 21 April 2019

See if this one floats your boat, darlings

IF Absolutely Fabulous was a pantomime, the riposte would be obvious, wouldn’t it readers? All together

IF Absolutely Fabulous was a pantomime, the riposte would be obvious, wouldn’t it readers? All together now: “Oh no it isn’t!”

The long-running BBC sitcom is a tad Marmite — you either love it or you hate it. So depending on your point of view the movie version can be regarded as either “long-awaited” or “long-threatened”.

Having started life as a 1990 French & Saunders sketch, the TV series took to the airwaves two years later minus Dawn French, who was busy playing the Vicar of Dibley (although she did have a cameo appearance, as she does in the film version).

French had played Saffron aka Saffy in the original sketch — the role memorably taken by Julia Sawalha in the series.

Saffy is the daughter of Edina “Eddy” Monsoon (Saunders), a high-powered London PR agent whose best friend is drunken fashionista Patsy Stone (Lumley). The pair use their considerable financial resources to indulge in alcohol, recreational drugs and chasing the latest fads in a bid to maintain their youth and recapture their glory days as mods in Swinging London.

But with their lifestyle inevitably leading to a series of personal crises, it is Saffy who is left to pick up the tab, leaving her increasingly bitter and cynical.

This time around, in the face of a media firestorm sparked when an attempt to schmooze Kate Moss goes spectacularly awry, Eddy and Patsy escape to their spiritual home — the French Riviera.

Cue a swathe of A-list cameos: everyone from Joan Collins to Jerry Hall and fashion designer Stella McCartney is here, along with, er, Rylan Clark-Neal from The X Factor.

The film is showing at Henley’s Regal Picturehouse from today (Friday) — with three special screenings lined up over the weekend.

“The Movie with Brunch, Darling” includes a smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel and a glass of champagne. Times are 11.15am on Saturday and 1.250pm on Sunday.

“The Movie with Bolly, Darling” includes a glass of champagne and is at 1.30pm tomorrow (Saturday).

For booking details, visit

Review: Matthew Wilson

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