Lulu and Lumely Remain Fabulous By Kaely Monahan
British comedy holds a unique place in the psyche of many Americans. The often dry, stodgy English pathos is up-ended by ridiculous circumstances, witty banter, and posh accents (at least to our ears). As such, it’s no surprise that Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie did “absolutely” well with American audiences.
The film more or less picks up where the beloved TV show left off. And don’t worry if you haven’t seen the original series, the film introduces you to Lulu (played by Lulu, birth name Marie McDonald McLaughlin Lawrie) and Patsy (Johanna Lumley)—two old birds who constellate around the fashion scene as PR reps. They’ve struck a bit of a dry spell and are looking for their next big client, who will ostensibly bring them back to the top so they can continue living their over the top lifestyles.
When it comes out that supermodel Kate Moss got rid of her PR person, Lulu and Patsy jockey to get her as a client. However, things don’t go according to plan as Lulu accidentally knocks the model into the Thames river during a fashion event. The beloved supermodel disappears, and Lulu and Patsy become the two most hated women in Britain, prompting them to flee the country to France.
There is actually a remarkable cast in this film including the ridiculously talent Mark Gatiss (one of the masterminds behind Sherlock and Doctor Who); Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones), Graham Norton, Jennifer Saunders, and of course, Kate Moss.
The film runs like a series of TV episodes stitched together. The plotline is stretched thin like a piece of canvas. However, Lulu and Lumley’s charm keeps the film going. Both women are hilarious and endearing. Neither of them shies away from crude jokes or exploring “taboo” subjects for older women. These are not neutered females going calming into dotage. Rather they are sexually alive, zestful powerhouses that aren’t afraid to be silly.
One of the best scenes in the whole film involves them getting high off weed and ending up in Lulu’s granddaughter’s room. Lumley even dons a ridiculous onesie nighty and parades about like a girl of 16.
The jokes keep coming and that’s what sustains the film. And it’s a good introduction to a classic TV series. For those who know and love the original show, the film will go one of two ways: you’ll either love it or hate it. Regardless, it’s great to see Lulu and Lumley together on screen once more.
- Kaely Monahan is a journalist, graduate of City University London and the creator of Popcorn Fan Film Reviews. Follow her @PopcornFans and @KaelyMonahan