I first stumbled across The Inbetweeners when I was a jobless insomniac with no internet, forced to watch actual TV (I know!) until I could fall asleep. It quickly became the new "oh my god have you seen this show” show, quickly becoming the "oh my god what are you doing on Sunday, let’s go see The Inbetweeners Movie” movie. And after much anticipation, I’m glad to report it’s now the new "oh my god have you seen this movie” movie.
I get very nervous when shows jump from the small screen to the big screen – only a handful can pull it off. The Simpsons and the first Sex and the City - good. Mr Bean and that thing that was Sex and the City 2 – bad. So when good TV shows announce they are making the leap to the silver screen, I get a mix of uncontrollable excitement and nausea.
The good thing with British TV shows is that, thankfully, there’s something very un-Hollywood about them, so a film version (you hope) is going to stick to the language and humour that made the TV show awesome in the first place. This was exactly the case with The Inbetweeners.
School’s out for Will, Simon, Jay and Neil, and with Simon freshly heartbroken, they decide a lads holiday in the Greek Islands is in order before they all go their separate ways. It’s a coming-of-age film with "sun, sex, sand, booze, sex, boobs, clunge, sex and booze”.
Like any good coming-of-age film, things begin to fall apart and the boys’ plans are met with varying degrees of failure. As the trip goes from bad to worse, hope (and plot development) arrive in the form of a group of girls. For me, this was the part where things didn’t stack up. One, Will’s girl is far too attractive and her ultra tan makes her look about five years too old (it seems to me that there exists a particular breed of girl who cannot grasp the rule that your skin cannot be darker than your hair). And secondly, I couldn’t help but wonder if there was a reason besides that all-important plot development for why the girls decide to stick around, after the boys (accidentally) treat them so badly. It’s especially ‘what the f’-ish to watch Jay be so mean to his girl, the typical not-that-fat fatty, only for her to throw herself at him. Tsk.
There are certain parts in the film that are just exceptional, particularly Jay’s ham and snorkel moment and Neil’s fondling of an older woman’s crotch. These parts make you cringe out loud in the same way Stiffler’s stiff drink did in American Pie. The dialogue retains its sparkle, the profanity is wonderfully creative and the performance by each of the boys is genuine and believable. Whenever there’s potential for a touching, poignant moment of cheese, it’s quickly squashed by a poo in the toilet, a poo in a nostril or a drowning kid.
I’d say the awesomeness of this film will be lost on those who haven’t religiously watched the show. For those viewers, the film will be how newbies would see American Pie; unable to appreciate what it is that made the humour, vulgarity and pathetic-ness of the characters great in the time that it was released. But in saying that, people who aren’t in love with the show don’t matter anyway.
So while my nerves kick up every time I think about the upcoming Arrested Development and Entourage films, I’m so glad this movie based off a TV show did not disappoint. Not in the slightest. I can’t think of my favourite part and I want to go see it again, if not just to see other people enjoy it. It’s rude, it’s obtuse, it’s ridiculous and it’s funny. Go see it. Now.