Girls Just Want to Have Fun
By Skip Sheffield
Who says women can’t be funny? Certainly not Jennifer Saunders, who is the principal writer and co-star with Joanna Lumley of “Absolutely Fabulous,” the movie.
“Ab Fab” as it is commonly called is based on a BBC comedy series that started in 1992 and still has a cult following.
I was not a part of that cult, so “Ab Fab” the movie is new to me.
Jennifer Saunders is Edwina “Eddie” Monsoon, whose leading client is waifish fashion model Kate Moss. Joanna Lumley is her best friend a sidekick Patsy Stone, a fashion magazine editor in swinging London.
Eddie and Patsy carry on as if they were still college chums, living a party life of drinking, shopping and chain-smoking cigarettes. In reality both women are showing their age, and their privileged life is precarious. Eddie is the mother of a sensible, disapproving daughter Saffron (Julia Sawalha) who is now in college.
The Ab Fab house of cards collapses when Kate Moss either slips or is pushed into the Thames River, and the two women become targets of a relentless mob of paparazzi.
Eddie’s solution is to flee to the South of France and start a new existence in Nice. That’s really all there is to “Ab Fab,” but for an unprecedented list of celebrity British and American cameos; everybody from Rebel Wilson as a rude flight attendant to Dame Edna (Barry Humphries) being her/himself.
The obligatory car chase scene is done with a three-wheel scooter, negotiating the narrow streets of Nice.
There is nothing of lasting value in “Absolutely Fabulous” other than the fact that girls of any age like to have fun.