“The Inbetweeners Movie”, or “Bloody-Hilarious-Not-Skins” by Caitlin McGrane

Posted on December 12, 2011

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I have long been a fan of Will (Simon Bird), Simon (Joe Thomas), Neil (Blake Harrison) and Jay (James Buckley). Ever since my old chums in Blighty started raving about them, and their mental Sixth Form head teacher (the unnaturally wonderful Greg Davies), I have been a devoted fan.

"The Inbetweeners", L-R: Jay, Neil, Simon and Will.

Some say it’s like Skins. I say those people might be on drugs. It’s only like Skins in the sense that The Railway Children is like Skins; it’s got some people of about the same age in it doing various things in various locations around Britain. The Inbetweeners is funny. Gross, often uncomfortable humour, but it’s funny, something that Skins is not really. How many teenage boys behave like the characters in Skins? I have not once met a teenage boy who’s fallen madly in love with his teacher. Never. Those of you who have, well, congratu-well-done.

The crowd from "Skins" season 1.

But I digress, you don’t necessarily need to have seen the TV series in order to find the jokes funny, but it helps. The Inbetweeners Movie stands alone as a film. It begins with Will, our anti-hero, discussing with his dad (Anthony Head) how he is going to spend his summer holidays doing something ‘normal’.

Now. For those of you unfamiliar with the traditional end-of-school fiasco in the UK, it goes something like this: finish exams, go to Spain or Greece on an 18-to-30 holiday and get absolutely spastically drunk. Simple. As. That.

Neil teaches Will and Simon some of his signature moves.

Our favourite idiots depart and end up in a dodgy little hotel on the island of Crete. Naturally, hilarity ensues. They meet girls, make complete arses of themselves, and cause a great deal of embarrassment for all involved. But, the most important thing is, they do so realistically. Apart from the drinking, which they seem to do endlessly and yet are still mostly able to hold coherent conversations. The crucial thing about this film is the gags, which makes reviewing it a bit of a challenge because I can’t spoil them for you. But I implore you to trust me, and my juvenile sense of humour by going to see this film.

This is the latest in small-budget British films recently released that capitalise on young people being funny in their own right (See Attack the Block and Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging (to a certain extent)). Nothing is dumbed-down for the audience and the film plays out with its tongue firmly in its cheek. I’m not saying all 18 year-old boys are like these complete buffoons, but I have met many that come close in my time (I’m not actually 85, just like to sound as if I am).

So rejoice, dear readers, in the stupidity! As the great Wittertainers (Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo) like to say “Friday night and your £10”… I’d go and see The Inbetweeners Movie.

Caitlin McGrane is one of You’re Dripping Egg’s most British reviewers. Have a gander at “Last Night”, or “How I Learned to Stop Hating Keira Knightley”, or her review of  “Jane Eyre” for more of her work.

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Posted in: Movies, Television