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The Inbetweeners - Film Review

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by Katie Thompson (subscribe)
University of York Graduate, aspiring to be a journalist with dreams of one day publishing my own novel. Blog: twotwothompson.wordpress.com/ Published work can be seen at www.theyorker.co.uk and www.yorkvision.co.uk
Event:
The Yank Guide to The Inbetweeners


With the American remake of teen-comedy classic The Inbetweeners hitting the small screen across the States right now, the Yankee folk may want to indulge in a little of the British original to see just how the troublesome foursome were dreamt up. Luckily for our friends across the pond, The Inbetweeners Movie, which hit UK screens back in August 2011, is finally making its way into American movie theatres, with the abbreviated title The Inbetweeners. Here's a rundown of what American audiences should expect from our lewd crude British humor.

The Inbetweeners carries on chronologically from the end of the British series finale and is based around four socially inept teenage boys who have recently graduated from high school. Among them there's Will, the show's narrator and well-spoken uber-geek, whose parents' divorce leads him to leave his private education and join a state school, where he meets sex-starved Simon, numbskulled Neil and jerk-off Jay. Three series later and we're at present day, and the boys are discussing what to do with their post-high-school summer, following the break-up of Simon and his long-lusted after girlfriend Carly.

Where better to go to mend a broken heart than the golden shores of Malia? For 18-30 year old British folk, Malia, on the Greek island of Crete, is a tourist hot-spot during the summer months in which lustful ladies-men can drink all night and sleep all day. Jerk-off Jay sees this as a golden opportunity to help soppy Simon get over his ex and finally have some female contact of his own (although he professes to already have had a wealth of sexual experiences!)

Four young, free and single 18 year old boys let loose in the party capital of Greece- what could possibly go wrong? Such is the premise for the movie and indeed the crux of the television series- these four boys never seem to have luck on their side. Firstly, there's the cesspit of a hotel that Will has inadvertently booked them all into, (be prepared for some crude images following Neil's misinterpretation of a bidet as a 'children's toilet') followed by some cringe-worthy interactions with four similarly-aged females. And as if that wasn't enough, bird-brained Neil seemingly forgot to mention to Simon that his estranged ex Carly would in fact be holidaying on the island at the same time.

Of course, in true awkward British-humor style, hilarity ensues in the form of questionable dance-routines, (which have since set British dance floors alight!) naked female encounters and the boys waking up with their heads buried in anthills. American audiences may find some kinship with the American Pie series in this movie- it's every bit as lewd, crude and nude. Truly, the only big difference is dialogue. Citizens of the States would be well advised to learn that fanny does not equal ass in British-speak, but in fact equates to the same meaning as clunge, a term coined by jerk-off Jay in the TV series, which also prides itself on being the first recorded use of the word in silver-screen history.

Lewd-lingo aside, The Inbetweeners has plenty to offer to American audiences- seasoned Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans may even be delighted to spot a cameo from Anthony Head, who plays Will's estranged father. There are plenty of laughs to be had, albeit at the expense of the boys and their absolute lacking in experience with females, but there's also a lesson or two to be learned about the values of friendship. It's not just for the guys either; female audiences will find themselves creasing up just as much as the boys, and may also appreciate the don't judge a book by its cover-esque message that a relationship between jerk-off Jay and a slightly chubby girl inspires.

If The Inbetweeners has taught us anything, (apart from the vulgar meaning of clunge) it's that British and American humor don't have to be entirely different, indeed, most of the jokes can be appreciated on both sides of the pond. The remake of the British TV series may be catered a little more for American tastes, but if the comedy-lovers out there want a true glimpse of the inspiration behind the newest series to hit their small-screens, they'd be well-advised to watch the hilarious shenanigans of the awkward foursome on the big screens first.

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Why? To make your own judgments about the British original!
When: 7th September
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