Review: The Inbetweeners Movie


Directed by: Ben Palmer
Written by:Iain Morris, Damon Beesley
Starring: Simon Bird, Joe Thomas, James Buckley, Blake Harrison
Released: November 24, 2011
Grade: A-

I asked every member of my team at work and none of them had heard of The Inbetweeners.  How could this be?  I was shocked, horrified, disappointed!  For whatever reason, this fantastic British television show never quite took off here in Australia.

It can be best described as a “UK version of American Pie”.  It revolves around four horny teenagers who have completely hopeless when it comes to women.  They’re part of the not-so-popular group at school and they continually end up in embarrassing, cringe worthy situations.  It leaves me sitting on the couch laughing rather uncomfortably.

There’s more to this series though than simple toilet humour.  It’s the cracking dialogue, distinctive characters and realistic storylines that make The Inbetweeners so special.  I can guarantee that these four guys will remind you of people you already know.  Will (Bird) is intelligent but has no social skills whatsoever.  Simon (Thomas) falls in love too easily and is often taken advantage of.  Jay (Buckley) portrays himself as a “ladies man” but actually has no idea.  Neil (Harrison) seems to have the most success with the opposite sex and ironically, he tries the least.

Only 18 episodes of the television series have been made but it’s developed a huge following in the UK.  It picked up the audience award at the 2010 British Academy Awards and was nominated for best situation comedy – proof of its popularity amongst both the public and critics.

The real success however has come from this film.  The Inbetweeners Movie was released in Britain back in mid August and it spent 4 consecutive weeks atop the box-office – the longest streak since Avatar in early 2010.  The film has now reeled in 45 million pounds which it makes it the 25th highest grossing film of all time in the United Kingdom.  Only the final Harry Potter movie has made more money this year.

So why has this movie been so popular?  I’m not going to answer that question for you.  Rather, I’d like to hope that you’ll see it for yourself.  The story sees Will, Simon, Jay and Neil finish their final year of school and go on a holiday together to Malia on the island of Crete.  It’s kind of like a “schoolies week” to them – their first chance to celebrate freedom from their teachers and their parents.  Things don’t quite go as planned however.  The hotel is a complete dump, they’re quickly running out of money and they’re still finding it hard to find get laid.

I realise I’m biased given my love for the show but I found this to be one of the funniest films I’ve seen all year.  It's faithful to the TV series and I can too easily relate to these four guys and their hilarious insecurities.  Writers Iain Morris and Damon Beesley deserve credit for their screenplay.  I was fascinated to learn that Morris came up with the idea for the show while he was exchange student at Corinda State High School (here in Brisbane) in the late 1980s.

The film won’t have the same box-office impact in Australia but I’ll be doing my best over the next few weeks to get people to see it.  Perhaps my team at work can be coerced into seeing it as a part of a “field trip”.  The British generally do it best when it comes to comedy and The Inbetweeners Movie is a perfect example.

You can read my interview with stars Simon Bird and Joe Thomas by clicking here.