Having been a fan of ‘The Inbetweeners’ since it first appeared in E4 in 2008, I had high hopes for this big screen adaptation. ‘Why?’, I hear you ask. After all, any TV to film swap tends to be disappointing to say the least. Well, the writers and producers of ‘The Inbetweeners’ so far appeared to have dodged the pitfalls associated with cult success and so I hoped their foray into movies would prove successful.
So before I talk about the film, let’s think about what makes ‘The Inbetweeners’ so popular:
- Jokes about Will’s Mum and all the others wanting to shag her.
- Mr Gilbert, Head of Sixth Form, and his undisguised hatred for his students.
- Jokes about Neil’s Dad’s sexuality.
- Jay’s lies about how much sexual experience he’s had.
- The gross-out humour. Remember that episode with the bollock hanging out of Simon’s pants?
- John, the paedophile teacher, who has to be led away from Neil on several occasions.
- The boys’ appalling attempts at pulling girls.
- Will’s sheer squareness: this is the boy who wanted to celebrate his 18th birthday with a sophisticated dinner party.
- Simon’s dad sharing too much, inappropriate information.
- Utterly embarrassing moments involving spewing on siblings, Will having an accident in an exam and Will abusing a group of special needs kids at a theme park.
- The honesty of the portrayal of teenage life. It’s not PC or pleasant but it sure is fair.
- Catchphrases like “Bus wankers” and “ooh, friends”.
So, all in all, what people seem to like about ‘The Inbetweeners’ is its vulgar humour as well as its accurate portrayal of teenage life, the sheer embarrassment of puberty and the utter desperation felt at times.
It was with high hopes that I visited the cinema and with a cloud of disappointment hanging over my head that I left 90 minutes later.
The film starts off promisingly with Will discovering that his father (Anthony Head) didn’t invite him to his second wedding to a girl that is only six years older than Will because he’s “awkward with people”. Simon is snogging girlfriend Carly until she tells him she wants to break up. Meanwhile Jay is busy trying out online porn when he gets some bad news.
The boys decide on their last day of school that what they need is a lad’s holiday and so book up to go to Malia. From there, the usual chaos ensues but throughout the film there were very few laugh-out-loud moments. Sure, there was gross-out humour and bad language but the characters were two-dimensional and the storyline was weak, with the ending being just like a bad rom-com. Fair enough, the first 30 minutes were promising but it declined from there.
DO NOT READ ON IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS.
After meeting four girls in a nightclub, they meet up with them at their hotel and seemingly every night on the strip. This seems fairly likely in a place like Malia but I think the cast could have been beefed up a bit more, with a few more bit-parts thrown in. Simon spends the whole time mooning over Carly despite being with a girl who is quite clearly interested in him. The boys’ attempts with the girls are quite pathetic but not in a funny way.
Will doesn’t even attempt anything cultural which I found quite unbelievable. Although he’s as desperate as the rest of the group, he still tries to maintain an air of intellect. This is, after all, the child whose own father would not invite to his wedding because he’s so square. It would have been funnier if Will had made the guys go on a bus trip and Mr Gilbert happened to be on the trip.
There were no jokes about Will’s mum or Neil’s dad which is a staple of the show and knowing lads on holidays, those jokes would continue. The small scene featuring Jay’s dad isn’t funny, it’s just depressing – he’s obviously a bully. The scenes with the parents would have been better if it came out that the parents had been watching them throughout the holiday a la BBC3’s ‘Sun, Sea and Suspicious Parents’.
Charlotte doesn’t feature at all although I thought it would have been interesting to see her as a cage dancer or PR girl in the resort.
I thought it would actually have been more funny if Jay’s usually untrue stories of how many girls he’s been with actually turned out to be true on this holiday but the lads refused to believe him.
The storyline didn’t explain why Simon didn’t have to go to live in Swansea, nor did it tell us how he and Carly got together. I would have liked a bit more info!
The ending, where each of the lads ends up with his female equivalent was so unrealistic. The woman playing Will’s “love interest” was way out of his league, not to mention several years older than him.
I felt this script was quite obviously rushed and therefore completely let everyone involved down. It was an easy way to spend 90 minutes but within an hour of leaving the cinema I’d had so many ideas about how it could have been made better, I was wondering how hard it could be.