"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."
- John Lennon
You know a film's going to be out of this world, when one of its protagonists matter-of-factly states "I stopped believing in God when I found out it was 'dog' backwards. It's like an anagram, but backwards!" The person responsible is recently-graduated Neil (Black Harrison), and the film he comes from is The Inbetweeners.
In this film-length episode of the hit British comedy show, recently graduated social outcasts and friends - Will (Simon Bird), Jay (James Buckley), Simon (Joe Thomas) and the aforementioned Neil – travel to Malia for their so-called 'schoolies' holidays where much female fornication is promised by pathological bull-artist Jay. Traveling on the inheritance of his recently-deceased Grandfather, Jay books them a one-bedroom bomb shelter in what looks like Nuremberg the day it was destroyed by the allies, and they prowl the streets looking for an adventure. They find this in the form of four young female tourists that funnily enough not only mirror them in an odd kind of way, but can actually tolerate them. It is clear from their endeavours that they each have their own problems, and the relationships they have with their warm female counterparts perfectly embellishes the audience's understanding of them.
Looking like it's shot on a low budget, The Inbetweeners Movie shares the look of the series with it's shaky, docu-drama aesthetic, but is juxtaposed by the fact it was shot on location in Malia, allowing us to take in some of the glorious sites of the Greek island of Crete. All the actors are on fine form and after three seasons, have a great understanding of their characters, having a great chemistry with each other on screen. The gags are sometimes gross and gratuitous but it is absolutely gratifying, especially for fans of the series. At times, their stupidity and naivety is so profuse it becomes irritating but that's why our four heroes are so loveable – because we can't possibly know anyone who's that stupid. Without going into details, it would naturally be expected that because it's a theatrically-released feature film, it can show us things that the series couldn't and as a result, is quite raunchy in places, but it's not really perverted and cost-free because what the audience cares about are the characters and how they get themselves out of these sticky (literally, at times) situations and remain friends. At its heart, The Inbetweeners is about friendship, and friendship is what these boys hang on to as they realise that someday they will grow up, and at the end of the day they count on each other.
The Inbetweeners Movie is really only for fans of the television series, but if you're not familiar, give it a go – you just might find yourself convulsing with laughter. At 90 minutes, it feels quite short because it moves quite quickly, but nonetheless it is a fun, no-holds-barred holiday of a film that is warm, sickeningly admirable and downright hilarious.