Thursday, 9 February 2012

The Inbetweeners Movie (2011)

The Inbetweeners Movie is a 2011 British coming of age teen comedy film based on the E4 sitcom The Inbetweeners, written by series creators Damon Beesley and Iain Morris and directed by Ben Palmer. The film follows the misadventures of a group of teenage friends on holiday in Crete after the end of their final year at school together, and currently serves as an ending to the TV series. It stars Simon Bird, Joe Thomas, James Buckley and Blake Harrison.

The Plot

Four teenage boys - Will (also narrator in the film), Simon, Jay and Neil - have finished their A-levels and are about to leave Rudge Park Comprehensive, much to the relief of Mr. Gilbert, their sarcastic, cynical sixth form tutor. Within their final week of school, however, Jay's grandfather dies, Simon is dumped by his girlfriend Carli and Will's divorced father tells him he has married his much younger mistress. Depressed, the boys decide to go on holiday together and Neil books them on a trip to Malia, Crete.

Their accommodation in Malia is awful. On the way to the bars, the boys encounter a strange youngster named Richard (Theo Barklem-Biggs) who came alone to Malia for a holiday. While walking past the bars, the boys are tricked into entering a bar which is really empty. The boys are disappointed at first, but soon four girls walk in - Alison, Lucy, Lisa and Jane. Their initial meeting goes less than smoothly - Will chats to Alison and pokes fun at her cliched "Greek waiter boyfriend", Simon bores Lucy talking about Carli, Neil has a non-conversation with Lisa, and Jay "gets stuck" with the bubbly, if somewhat overweight Jane. The girls go on their way after Neil pulls two older women, but arrange to meet the boys the next day. Outside the bar, Simon sees Carli across the street; this is because Neil asked Carli where she was going and booked the same place. Simon then angrily tells Neil that the point of the holiday was to take his mind off Carli. He talks awkwardly with her before being run over by a quad-bike ridden by James, an obnoxious club rep and Carli's new squeeze. Carli reveals she is going to a boat party later in the week, and Simon pledges to meet her there.

The next morning, Will and Simon awaken to the sound of Neil having sex with a middle-aged woman and find Jay sleeping face-down in an ants' nest outside. After sobering up, they go to meet the girls by their hotel pool. While there, a local little boy pushes Jay into the pool and later pulls Jay's shorts down, after which Jay throws him into the pool in retaliation, finding out that the boy did not lie when he said he can not swim. At the same time, Will gets into an argument with an angry man whose poolside sun-loungers were 'requisitioned' by the boys, tactlessly pointing out that his disabled daughter 'doesn't even need a sunlounger'. Having publicly humiliated themselves, the boys are quickly ejected from the hotel.

Outside, Jay argues with Simon over his continuing obsession with Carli and they 'fight' in the street. Will and Neil separate the pair and drag off Simon and Jay, respectively, in different directions. Desperate to buy a ticket for the boat party, Simon sells his clothes to James, including what he is wearing, but never gets paid for them and is left naked. Meanwhile, Jay angrily tears up two tickets he secretly bought for them as a surprise. He and Neil then go to a nightclub later that night hoping to meet more girls, only to witness a male stripper performing autofellatio on stage. The duo subsequently run into James and his friends, who ridicule and threaten them until they leave.

Later that evening, the four boys meet back at the bar and bury the hatchet. Before long, the girls turn up and suggest that they all go skinny dipping at the local beach. Jane attempts to kiss Jay, but he is embarrassed to be seen with her so she leaves him behind. Will has better luck with Alison until he stumbles across her Greek boyfriend having sex with another woman; Alison then runs off in tears. Lucy and Simon appear to be growing closer until he sees Carli on the beach and leaves Lucy alone in the sea.

Eventually, the boys are able to obtain tickets for the boat party. On board, Carli kisses Simon passionately in order to make James jealous, and Simon realises he is being used. Jay apologises to Jane, and she takes him into the toilets to perform oral sex on him. After finishing, they encounter James, who mocks Jane's weight and demands drugs from Jay. Jay gives him a €20 note that had been concealed in his anus to be used as a bribe for 'corrupt foreign police' when necessary, resulting in James unknowingly walking around with faeces on the end of his nose for the rest of the day. (He doesn't seem to notice this as women he tries talking to move away from him.) Neil bumps into Richard during the boat party and is introduced to Richard's parents (both senior citizens), who came over at Richard's request to pick him up. When Neil is about to kiss the mother, Lisa rushes over and tells her to back off as she thinks Neil makes a move on her. After Neil tells Lisa that his girlfriend back home dumped him they feel no longer limited in the kind of sex they have.

Meanwhile, Alison hunts out Will and asks to be his girlfriend, which he eagerly accepts. Simon finally realises that Lucy, who gave him her ticket so that he could attend the party, is more worthy of his attention than Carli. Simon, encouraged by everybody, then jumps off the boat and attempts to swim to her on the beach as a grand romantic gesture, but he nearly drowns and has to be airlifted to shore. As several paramedics load him into an ambulance, Lucy rushes over to him in concern and the two reconcile, and kiss.

After the boat party is over, the other boys and girls visit Simon in hospital, and once he recovers they all spend the rest of their holiday together as couples. Eventually, the four boys head home to the UK, looking forward to the next stage of their lives. As they meet their families at the airport, their girlfriends exit the same terminal and introduce themselves to the boys' parents as the film ends. In a final scene before the credits, a drunken Mr. Gilbert is seen riding a quad-bike through the streets of Malia in his underwear.


The Inbetweeners Movie has received generally positive reviews, holding a 70% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Ian Freer of Empire Magazine gave the film four stars out of five, observing that "Like any holiday, it is episodic and suffers from repetition but this is gag-for-gag the funniest film of the summer and a fitting end to a much-loved series." Steve Rose of The Guardian gave the film three stars out of five, giving particular praise to Simon Bird's performance and arguing that the film "updates the teen summer holiday formula surprisingly entertainingly, considering it doesn't subvert it one iota and the formula was already done previously with Holiday on the Buses and Kevin & Perry Go Large among others." Tim Robey of The Daily Telegraph also gave a positive assessment of the film, praising it as "an enormous hit, a Mamma Mia! for the Hangover demographic." Screen Daily, on the other hand, gave a mixed review, praising the performances of the main cast and proclaiming the film "Britain’s delayed riposte to American Pie," yet simultaneously arguing that it "can’t quite shake off its TV roots, and plot-wise, this is nothing the Greek tourist board would want to advertise." In contrast, Margaret Pomeranz from At the Movies called the characters "gormless" and said, "I’m giving this one star really generously".

The Cast

Simon Bird as Will MacKenzie
 James Buckley as Jay Cartwright
 Blake Harrison as Neil Sutherland
 Joe Thomas as Simon Cooper
 Emily Head as Carli D'Amato
 Lydia Rose Bewley as Jane
 Laura Haddock as Alison
 Tamla Kari as Lucy
 Jessica Knappett as Lisa
 Theo Barklem-Biggs as Richard
 Theo James as James
 Anthony Head as Will's Dad
 Victoria Willing as Mrs. Cartwright
 Greg Davies as Mr. Gilbert
 Henry Lloyd-Hughes as Mark Donovan
 Belinda Stewart-Wilson as Polly MacKenzie
 Robin Weaver as Pamela Cooper
 Martin Trenaman as Alan Cooper
 Alex MacQueen as Kevin Sutherland
 David Schaal as Jay's Dad
 Sophie Colquhoun as Susie
 Carolin Stoltz as Woman On Laptop
 Etalia Turnball as Jay's Sister
 Dominic Frisby as Customer
 Lauren O'Rourke as Nicole
 Lily Lovett as Rachel
 John Seaward as Big John

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