The Inbetweeners Movie (2011)

The Inbetweeners Movie sees Channel 4’s award winning show plastered onto the big screen in what can be basically seen as a series finale. We find Will (Simon Bird), Jay (James Buckley), Neil (Blake Harrison) and Simon (Joe Thomas) packing their suitcases and heading to Crete for two weeks of sun, sand, sea and sex in celebration of finishing sixth form.

With its guranteed audience, fairly unoriginal storyline and soundtrack by Mike Skinner AKA The Streets, it’s very easy to be churlish and dismiss the whole affair. However, to do so would be to dismiss one of the better comedies to come out this year. Please note: I said ‘comedy’, so don’t tweet me about the worthiness of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy or Tree of Life. Neither of them are funny and, worse of all, neither of them have James Buckley as Jay, the human equivalent of a bullshit factory.

It seemed to me that Inbetweeeners focuses on Jay slightly more than any of the others. Even though initially he seems happy to spout off things that would make Baron Münchhausen and Bernard Manning blush, we slowly see him coming to terms with the fact that he really hasn’t contemplated a future after his friends got to uni, or settle down in Tesco if you’re Neil.

Okay, that may seem a rather deep way to look at a film with lines like ‘He shoots, he scores…. Right up the vag!’, but The Inbetweeners charm has always been that these guys aren’t 90210, perma-tanned, white teethed glasses of water, who need Damian Rice to sing about their feelings. They’re juvenile, they swear, they fight and they stick by each other without really knowing why. In short, they’re normal. When Jay drunkenly tries to tell Simon how much he’ll miss him, it is probably truer to a teenager’s verbiage than Superbad‘s ‘I love you’ scene will ever be

It’s not all perfect. Some jokes do fall flat on thier face and there was an uncomfortable silence in the cinema during those. The plot isn’t the freshest, but the journey to the somewhat predictable ending is so enjoyable you won’t care. The script sets up numerous clichés of teen movies and successfully shatters them. To say anymore, would ruin the fun. Though Simon’s attempt at a huge romantic gesture was a particular highlight.

For all my promotion, you’ll probably only see this film if you are a fan of the show. Which is a shame, because whilst it’s a fitting end to a well loved series, it’s also a rather acceptable way to spend 90 minutes of your life.

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5 comments

  1. Good review, just put mine up yesterday. I loved this, even though it was very ‘Telivisual’ and not much of an attempt was made to go the extra mile for the cinema. Definitely didn’t diappoint, and looks to be the fourth biggest film in the uk (unfortunate that HP finished and Twilight is also ending…)

    For focusing on Jay, for all I love the other three, he is where the real funnies all come from – solid comedy timing.

    1. Thanks for reading. Jay is definitely a breakout character.

      The one thing I forgot to mention is I couldn’t stop thinking about Kevin and Perry Go Large…

      Inbetweeners is obviously better.

      1. Couldn’t vouch for it, but as I remember it was a safer version of the inbetweeners with less gags and worse characters… probably not!

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