Seamless transition to the big screen

Undated Film Still Handout from The Inbetweeners Movie. See PA Feature FILM Inbetweeners. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Handout. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FILM Inbetweeners.
Undated Film Still Handout from The Inbetweeners Movie. See PA Feature FILM Inbetweeners. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Handout. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FILM Inbetweeners.

Following on from their smash-hit TV show, The Inbetweeners set off on one last mission to get drunk and search for as many girls as humanly possible.

The film, which inevitably brings an end to their delusional boyhood fantasies, makes light work of the transition from small to big screen.

With crude, witty and often side-splitting gags, which viewers of the series would have come to expect, the comedy spin-off draws some resemblance to 90s teen movie American Pie.

But The Inbetweeners offers us Brits something more than the whiners across the pond: a sense of realism and absorbing characters we can relate to.

This, accompanied by regular holiday humour, such as the politics behind reserving sun loungers, strengthens its grip on the audience – much to everyone’s amusement.

School is forever out after their last day at Rudge Park Comprehensive – and with their lives destined for different directions – Will, Simon, Jay and Neil fancy their chances with the fairer sex in the sun-kissed surroundings of Malia in Crete.

The four randy teenagers leave their comfy suburban existences behind and, for one reason or another, all agree on a lads’ holiday abroad.

There’s something in the sun cream, after all, explains Simon’s dad on the midnight drive to catch a cheap flight.

The exchange provides a perfect reminder of those cringeworthy moments when parents share too much with you and your mates – the type of humour which was fundamental to the show’s television success.

With love-sick Simon (Joe Thomas) wallowing after being dumped by Carli (Emily Head), geeky Will (Simon Bird), boorish Jay (James Buckley) and gormless Neil (Blake Harrison) follow their hormones all the way to Greece.

A quick team talk at the airport psyches the lads up for a holiday to remember, only to be told their ‘on tour t-shirts’ aren’t appropriate for flying and their flight has been delayed for several hours.

Once on the bus, from airport to accommodation, the boys come across some stereotypical English football fans, who had obviously started the party early.

The constant chanting does nothing for the quartet’s weary heads but the transfer proves profitable as the lads eye up some girls they hope will be the first of many.

Will’s mature narration and unwavering glass-half-empty look on life offers more than his 18 years may suggest.

And, when they finally pull up to their accommodation, the boys are quickly brought back down to earth.

What follows is a compelling story which sees the friction between the group reach fisty-cuffs, or rather headlocks and ‘nuggies’, only to be reminded why they were friends to begin with.

Jay, especially, takes the brunt of things and there are brief moments when he is left open and vulnerable – something he learns to embrace through the film’s duration.

And Neil’s care free attitude seems to rub off on some of the others, particularly when they needed it most. He provides some of the film’s most notable laugh-out-loud moments.

The holiday, and seemingly their whole lives, builds up to a prestigious boat party – for which they’ve scrambled around to get tickets – which provides the answers to questions they’ve mulled over for the past two years.

The film’s tag line ‘when boys become men’ would make you assume the four lads’ journey has come to a timely end.

After three seasons, the days of feeling in-between seem to be behind them but you can never say never, as next year’s fourth instalment of American Pie shows.

Mission accomplished.

by Matt Brooks

HHHH