A(nother) Absolutely Fabulous Rambling

My sister decided yesterday that she’s missed my Sunday morning blog posts. For those of you that hadn’t clocked, since the beginning of the year I’ve been posting a chapter of my novel a week at a time – my sister being my one avid reader. If you’d like to catch up you can read it HERE.


She’s decided to start giving me a subject each week, so that she has something to read every Sunday morning. Her first prompt is ‘Inspiring Women’.


Quite what she’s expecting from that prompt I don’t know. Firstly, she set the prompt at 4:48 on a Saturday afternoon, which doesn’t leave an awful lot of time to weave my straw thoughts into a piece of literary gold, but gosh darn it, I’ll try.


I don’t know if she wants me to write something that will inspire women, or wants me to write about some women who are inspiring. Maybe she wants me to write about her.


Well, she can go whistle.


Instead, I’m going to do what any good writer does when they’re given a topic to write about it, twist it around so they can write about something else entirely instead. Perhaps even something they were going to write about anyway.


Tonight I took myself off to the cinema to see the new Absolutely Fabulous film. I went with my friends Scoop – named so because of once accidentally scooping her own eye – and Dan – named so because that’s his name.


As an aside, it was only as I made my way to the cinema that I realised that after a few heavy drinks and a bit of a squint that short ginger Scoop and tall, blonde bouffanted Dan could probably pass for a bad Eddie and Patsy tribute act. Which then led me to worry that I might be mistaken for either Saffy or Mother.


It’s been four years since we last had some new Ab Fab, an Olympics special, which some felt had lost some of the magic of the earlier series. I still loved it.


But it did set us all up to be slightly nervous going into the release of this film that it might all be a little bit shit.


So, as the first scenes of the film roll out like Eddie out of a taxi, repeating a classic joke from the series, I did start to panic. However, soon the new jokes started coming and the ridiculous plot that you’d expect from an episode of Ab Fab kicked into gear.


The jokes themselves are comfortable, there are no huge belly laughs, and even the funniest jokes on paper likely don’t quite stack up, but it’s the performances by Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley specifically that as always steal the screen.


Lumley repeating the word “Gabon” while Saunders and Julia Sawahla look on completely dumbfounded is likely to be the film’s most memorable moment, but there are plenty of other moments during the film where we and others in the theatre laughed loudly – even if I don’t really remember them now.


There are many celebrity cameos all the way through the film – so many that the end credits lists ninety percent of the character names as either ‘Herself’ or ‘Himself’ – but my favourites are Joan Collins and Rebel Wilson. Though Gwedoline Christie, appearing albeit briefly, manages to make more of an impression here than she does in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.


The film is essentially an extended episode of the TV series, the plot isn’t necessarily strong enough to hold a film, but the characters like the jokes are comfortable, and everything is reset nicely at the end of the film.


I saw someone on Twitter mention that seeing the film was like meeting up with some friends you haven’t seen in a few years – everyone has a good time, but largely because of the good times that everyone shared in years past, not because this latest night out was particularly legen-wait-for-it-dary.


Edina Monsoon and Patsy Stone are exactly as you remember them from twenty-five years ago, they are out having fun, being horrendously offensive and generally doing what they want to do and not giving a shit.


These are women who at sixty (Eddie) and twenty-one (Patsy) are not letting their age or gender or anything else stop them.


If they aren’t inspiring women, I don’t know who are.