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The Inbetweeners Movie

January 12, 2014

The Inbetweeners Movie (2011)
Director: Ben Palmer
Actors: Simon Bird, Joe Thomas, James Buckley

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Synopsis: Four 18-year-old lads, having just finished school, decide to head to Malia in Crete for sun, sea and ‘sex’….

Review: I rarely have the time or inclination to follow long-running TV series so the Inbetweeners phenomenon has pretty much passed me by. Based on the humour, characters and scenario of this film though, the overall slant and appeal of the show hasn’t been too tricky to deduce!

Usually with movies of this ilk (a popular TV series updated to feature film format) the prime driver is to milk the cash cow, and that commercial bent is redolent in the The Inbetweeners Movie‘s canvas and overall narrative structure. Like with Kevin and Perry Go Large and Sex and the City 2, the decision is taken to build the series’ ingredients around a high concept – namely a holiday abroad and taking the characters out of their regular domain. There’s also the rote three-act structure built around “trouble abroad” before the boys ultimately get the girls at the story’s end.

Clearly, The Inbetweeners Movie bears comparison to that classic saga from across the pond of four young guys learning about the comic side of sexuality and growing up, American Pie. In most respects, the British version and sensibility is better: it’s far more self-deprecating, with Will (with his classic aside of the Greek waiter off “committing atrocities in Anatolia”) as a far more interesting character than American Pie‘s pseudo-intellectual, Finch. American Pie‘s calling-card was always its “fifth character” – über-jock Stifler – and arguably The Inbetweeners Movie lacks a character of similar verve and gusto, but then that’s appropriately in keeping with this slightly more genteel, less varnished, British view of awkward teens trying to get their leg over. (January 2014)

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