The Inbetweeners Movie Review
‘The Inbetweeners‘ TV show took England by storm when it first aired in 2008 and since British TV shows have painfully short seasons, the creators decided the time was right for a movie. Although THE INBETWEENERS MOVIE was released this time last year in England, America is just now getting to know Will, Neil, Jay and Simon as they continue to stumble through their awkward teenage years on their way to adulthood. The show did a great job of establishing all four leads and put them in believable, relatable situations. It’s hard to compare ‘The Inbetweeners’ TV show to anything in America, but the closest thing might be AMERICAN PIE. Imagine a show based on Jason Biggs’ character and his three, just as nerdy friends. If you’re not familiar with ‘The Inbetweeners’ show and this movie is your first introduction to the four lads from England, then you may be left wondering what all the fuss is about. Trust me when I say that the TV show is far superior to the movie and something went wrong as the show made the leap to the big screen.
High school graduation is behind them and now Will, Neil, Jay and Simon are all preparing to go their separate ways. But first, they decide to go on holiday to the island of Malia in search of sun, relaxation and of course, women. While there, they meet up with four girls their age and each of them strike up a relationship with their respective counterpart. This immediately frustrated me because as soon as I saw the four girls walk into the empty club the four lads were parked at, I knew the movie was going to turn into a relationship comedy. I would have liked to see the four lads run around Malia and getting into trouble, but they seemed chained to the four girls and that grounded them, and the movie, the entire time.
The movie excels when the focus is on Will and although his relationship with Alison was unbelievable (he’s a dork and she’s stunningly beautiful), I enjoyed their chemistry and appreciated Will’s realistic view of what was going on. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of focus on Simon’s pining for Carli since she breaks up with him in the beginning and he can’t get past it for most of the movie. In the show, the relationship (or lack of) between Simon and Carli worked well because it provided some easy, quick laughs. In the movie, not so much. I found myself frustrated at Simon’s stupidity and as Carli continued to treat him like dirt, I found it less and less amusing. As for Neil and Jay, they’re always good for a laugh or two in the show, but in the movie they were overused and I became bored with their plights. Much like Simon, I felt that they had grown past the point of being so immature. They were still acting like they did when the show first aired and the movie provided virtually zero growth for any of them until the last ten minutes or so. By then, it was too little, too late.
Maybe it was because the writers didn’t know what to do with 90 minutes, but the movie was filled with missed opportunities. I liked the situation of Jay getting harassed by a little boy at the swimming pool, but the altercation wasn’t half as funny as it should have been. There was a running gag where Neil kept hooking up with older women that also could have been explored further and to a more humorous degree. Those are just two examples, but the film was filled with them, along with a much too convenient summary to close out the movie.
THE INBETWEENERS MOVIE is disappointing, at least to this fan of the show, but it does have moments that remind you of the greatness of the show. Granted, they’re few and far between, but they’re there and on some level, that makes the movie worthwhile, at least for fans. If you’re not familiar with the show, then I highly recommend catching it on Netflix before catching the movie. This should not be anyone’s first exposure to ‘The Inbetweeners’.