Fwends with benefits
[pullquote cite=”” type=”left, right”][amazon text=Amazon&template=carousel&chan=That Film Guy&asin=B003AYLBV0][/pullquote] Getting chased down a waterslide by a poo or fired from your job as a toilet attendant wouldn’t be many people’s idea of a perfect summer holiday. But when you’re an Inbetweener the best you can hope for is a few laughs to go with the cringing embarrassment.
For many people, the joy of the TV series was the way it captured the awkward horror of teenage life. The first movie kept that going with a look at the first lads’ holiday, so what could be better than a gap year trip to Australia?
In true Inbetweeners style, Will (Simon Bird), Jay (James Buckley), Simon (Joe Thomas) and Neil (Blake Harrison) are no cooler in Australia than they are at home “ and in their four-week trip they are often branded tourists by the privileged Surrey gap-year kids who see describe their own trips as travelling.
Unsurprisingly, Will takes this to heart more than the others, and his battle with the spiritual (pretentious) and beautiful people around him provides much of the comedy. There’s lots to laugh at, and at one of two moments you might (if you like the Inbetweeners) find yourself crying with laughter.
But you might also feel the film lacks something. The first movie followed a familiar pattern “ our heroes were downtrodden throughout but in the end it all came good. This time things are not so clear “ how can the lads have a happy ending (again)? The way the last happy ending unravels is brilliant (especially Simon’s love story) but this time you can almost feel the writers struggling with how to tie things up. At times you think it’s actually an impossibility “ that Neil will always be stupid, Simon awkward, Jay a liar and Will¦ well¦ a briefcase wanker.
But where this films shines is in the bold attempts by directors Iain Morris and Damon Beesley to actually make it a film. The original was basically three episodes cobbled together, but the sequel has moments of actual directorial decision-making. there’s even a nod to the Scorsese stylised panning shot in the beginning, and the fact that it’s Jay recounting his travels in Oz makes it all the funnier.
The plot rattles along and there is enough to make you think that maybe, just maybe, the lads will come out on top. It’s not a masterpiece and some of the gags are crude even by Inbetweeners standards “ lots of poo, pissing and penises “ but there’s plenty for fans of the show to love. So it comes down to two big questions? Is it as good at the first one? Probably not. But, even more important, is it funny? Yes “ hilarious in places.