ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS – Review by Susan Granger

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On BBC-TV, off-and-on from 1992 to 2004, the cult sitcom “Absolutely Fabulous” was just that. As a full-length feature film, it’s only fair. First of all, you’ve got to know who’s who and what’s what in order to understand anything. Otherwise, it’s like coming into the middle of a stranger’s glitzy party, knowing no one. The plot revolves around the misadventures of two bawdy, Bollinger-boozing, middle-aged fashionistas. Enlisting the help of her BFF Patsy Stone (Joanna Lumley), British publicist Edina “Eddy” Monsoon (Jennifer Saunders) is determined to sign a new client: supermodel Kate Moss. Read on…

Edina lives in a palatial West London house which she shares with her elderly mother (90 year old June Whitfield), her prim, now-divorced daughter Saffron (Julia Sawalha) and 13 year-old grand-daughter Lola (model Indeyarna Donaldson-Holness).

With Edina’s personal assistant Bubble (Jane Horrocks) overpaying herself, times are tough. Her roster has dwindled to only two clients: singer Lulu and “Spice Girl” Emma Bunton. And no one wants to publish her memoir. So snagging Kate Moss is of utmost importance.

Predictably, everything goes wrong at the splashy launch party for designer Huki Muki (Janette Tough, a.k.a. Janet Krankie), forcing them to flee to the glittering, glamorous French Riviera, perhaps forever.

Saddled with little originality, screenwriter Jennifer Saunders and director Mandie Fletcher rely on campy vulgarity and lots of starry, self-reverential cameos, including Jerry Hall, Joan Collins, Rebel Wilson, Dame Edna (Barry Humphries), Stella McCartney, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Chris Colfer and John Hamm, who confesses he lost his virginity at age 15 to Patsy.

If you manage to stay through the final credits, you’re told you can now go back to watching kitten videos.

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie” is farcical 5. It’s frothy but far from fabulous.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.