Friday, 2 September 2011

REVIEW: The Inbetweeners

I should get this out of the way immediately - I don't find The Inbetweeners that funny. However, I can understand why people like it, but I don’t think anyone was really prepared by how well the film has done.

I’m not going to go into numbers and bore you, but put it this way, The Inbetweeners movie has done really, really well. The tale of four young lads on their first proper holiday has been quite a fan favourite but despite this, I can’t help but think it’s relatively average at best. In fact, I felt the film was worse than the episodes, which I don’t rate that highly either.

I should go into why I don’t like it as people might be opposed to the review if they think I’m just trying to be anti-mainstream (yes Inbetweeners is mainstream). Firstly, I hate the way it constantly flashes back to what’s happened earlier in the episode. I’ve just seen it, why do I need to see it again? It’s as if they are trying to waste time or make some kind of Wonder Years immediate nostalgia feel to the episode. Nostalgia again cropping up with it’s use of music, old and new, so that the older folks can remember being kids and listening to The Cure etc. It’s a subconscious attempt to involve all and then proceed to make fanny and dick jokes.

I do think some of the jokes are well constructed but the plots are quite feeble at best and sometimes the horrible cliché of a catchphrase reers it’s ugly head, Wetherspoon’s becoming full of people throwing Inbetweener’s in-jokes at each-other like they’ve just discovered wanking and want to tell everyone about it. It’s easy for me to say this though from the outside looking in, but what I find strange is essentially this Middle England youth culture that’s depicted is actually a glorified, feel-good jaunty that has no-one ever really learning a lesson or developing at all. The movie tries to do this, but essentially it’s just a bunch of scenes linked together with the writer’s thinking ‘how can we make this scene more awkward? Shall we throw another dick joke in?’

The acting is also terrible, which can be seen in the recent Chickens where, again, the Inbetweener’s actors play just another part of themselves. The acting in the film is just as bad, if not worse.

Oh yes, the film. I forgot about that. Right well, firstly there is absolutely no way those girls would be interested with those guys and the ending made me want to throw a grenade onto the boat and end them all for being so sickly ‘nicey nice’ and everything working out perfectly. It’s just so bloody feel-good cheesy nonsense that is ‘cutting-edge’ because it uses filthy humour. Sorry, I digress again.

You have to understand, I don’t hate The Inbetweeners. If it’s on, I’ll watch it. I just don’t get the fascination or the ridiculous success of it. It’s sometimes quite lazy and feels like a dirty Grange Hill – the times where it’s supposed to be emotional or dramatic are instead cringeworthy.

Anyway, the film just feels like the crew of the show wanted a bit of an excuse for a holiday. I must have laughed about once every ten or fifteen minutes, which is good for a comedy film, but not great. The middle sags to a horrible degree and I’d rather they just squeezed this into a one hour special on channel 4 or something, but then it wouldn’t have made multi-millions I guess.

One good thing about it is it seems that it brings people together. Everyone remembers the awkwardness of being a teenager, the creative namecalling, the comraderie of your mates and the obsession with anything that was rude. Dick jokes have always plagued comedy for centuries, so I guess why should it stop now? It doesn’t matter how old you are, a dick joke will always go down well (that’s what she said).

So the movie has it’s awkward moments, it’s stupid moments, it’s physical slapstick and some clever set-ups, but I never once thought this was a great comedy. The end also had got me hating it even more by the time I walked out and everyone saying how much they loved it and already talking about ‘that bit’ and ‘remember when’ – yeah, I just saw it. I went home and watched some American Office instead and felt a lot better.

See it if you fancy a chuckle, but it’s ‘alright’. I also doubt I’ll ever bother to sit down and watch it again either, which is saying something itself.

Rating: 5/10

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