Tag Archives: Jennifer Saunders

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie

If you were a fan of the series, you’re going to be a fan of Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie because it’s an absolute hoot and a real tribute to the show. If you’ve never heard of it though, you’re kind of out of luck. Show creator\writer\star Jennifer Saunders isn’t looking for converts with her script, abfabshe’s simply paying tribute to those of us who will never get enough of Edina and Patsy.

The show wasn’t really “about” anything other than two fab women (well, fab in their own minds), PR reps Edina (Saunders) and Patsy (Joanna Lumley), who lived life in glorious, wondrous,¬†oblivious excess. They worked little and spent lots, thinking mostly of themselves and the clothes they wore (mostly badly). Brand-obsessed and vain to their empty cores, I couldn’t help but love their ballsy hedonism. The show was vicarious fun and thanks to Saunders’s clever writing (not forgetting her brilliant partner, Dawn French), with frequent in-jokes and winks to the audience between scathing, cruel humour. The movie is very much like an expansion pack of a typical episode. This time Edina and Patsy fuck up on a world stage and for the first landscape-1455900130-colfertime they’re finding that perhaps being hounded by the paparazzi isn’t quite what they’d always hoped.

Saunders and Lumley have excellent chemistry (as they should – they’ve been playing these characters off and on since 1992) and just seeing them together makes me feel effervescent. Every familiar face was like unwrapping a sweet, and I couldn’t get enough. Saunders can still write a mean sting and by god can they both deliver. These comediennes are not to be underestimated: even their banal hijinks are riveting. There’s no new ground here and a movie feels a bit of a stretch, but these women truly are fabulous and I feel fortunate to still be able to bear witness to their acid. I would gladly spend my remaining years in a nursing home alongside them as long as we never ran out of champers, sweetie dahling.

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TIFF: Sing

What do Scarlett Johansson, Reese Witherspoon, and Matthew McConaughey all have in common? They’ve all got pipes. And boy do they use them in the new animated movie, Sing.

Picture this: a cute and cuddly koala, fuzzy in all the right places, adorably attired in a bowtie and sounding an awful lot like Matthew McConaughey. His name is Buster and his theatre is his passion. It is not, however, much of a sing-animation-movie-wallpaper-02living. The theatre’s bankrupt. He hasn’t had a successful show in – well, maybe ever. The bank’s about to swoop in and take it from him, so in a last ditch effort to save it, he plans a singing competition.

Because his secretary is a bit of a dunce, the $1000 prize is advertised as much more, so people desperate for money as well as those desperate for fame all show up to auditions. From a talented pool he selects a chosen few: Ash, a punk porcupine with a penchant for writing her own tunes (Johansson); Johnny, a gentle gorilla trying to escape his dad’s gang (Taron Egerton); 300773_m1455639411Gunther, a flamboyant dancing pig (Nick Kroll)¬†partnered with¬†Rosita, a shy momma pig with a big voice (Reese Witherspoon); an arrogant crooner of a mouse (Seth McFarlane); and a timid teenaged elephant with stage fright (Tori Kelly).

We saw an “unfinished” version at TIFF, as a sneak peak, but to my eye Garth Jennings’s oeuvre looked pretty near polished. The truth is this film is generic and formulaic. The animation is nothing to write home about. But the songs are catchy as hell, and the talent backs it up. It’s fun. It’s fluff but it’s fun. Your kids will like it. And you may resist, but your toes will be tapping too. It’s that kind of infectious.