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The Inbetweeners Movie

Will, Simon, Jay, Neil

Review by Tim Carson

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

TRANSFERRING a small-screen hit to the big-screen is a challenge and rarely, if ever, successful. Thankfully, one of the funniest TV shows in years makes the leap with barely a stumble.

Best friends Will (Simon Bird), Simon (Joe Thomas), Neil (Blake Harrison) and Jay (James Buckley) finish secondary school and are sent on their way to a summer holiday with a jaw-dropping speech from one of the TV show’s best-loved characters, head teacher Mr Gilbert (Greg Davies).

It sets the tone for the rest of the movie and starts 90 minutes of almost non-stop gags – some good, some bad and some truly outstanding.

With Simon getting dumped by the love of his life Carli the time is right for the four friends to go on a lads’ holiday to the Cretan resort of Malia. It seems like the perfect send-off, but it was also fraught with danger for the writers. After-all, such resorts are familiar to us from TV documentaries, new reports and reality TV shows – we have a pretty good picture of what goes on. It left the film at risk of being a cliché-ridden disaster.

What’s surprising is that director Ben Palmer’s film (scripted by Iain Morris and Damon Beesley) is actually packed with clichés but luckily it’s far from a disaster. It survives thanks to the performances of the cast and the fact that the film is all about the relationships between the four friends.

So while having them stay at a dodgy hotel with an unsanitary pool and not enough beds is a comedy cliché it’s not over-used and is used to help bond the friends. Oh and, of course, to ensure that they end up at the pool of a nice family hotel where the four girls they met at the club the night before are staying.

There, of course, it doesn’t take long for Jay to end up in a battle of wits with a child; Simon to start banging on about Carli; and Will to get indignant about having to give up their sunloungers for a family – who happen (in a running joke from the series) to have a wheelchair-bound daughter.

It’s impossible to try and put into words just how funny some of these moments are, but they’re up there with some of the best in the series. And if you haven’t seen the series (check it out now !

The film manages to maintain a high standard of gags all the way through and while some of them are pretty crude, they work. The film also does a good job of taking all four characters through a short but sharp journey of self-enlightenment and is a fitting send-off for four iconic teenagers.

Certificate: 15
Running time: 97mins
UK DVD & Blu-ray Release: December 12, 2011