Combustible Celluloid
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With: Simon Bird, Joe Thomas, Blake Harrison, James Buckley, Emily Head, Lydia Rose Bewley, Laura Haddock, Tamla Kari, Jessica Knappett, Theo Barklem-Biggs, Theo James, Anthony Head, Victoria Willing, Greg Davies, Henry Lloyd-Hughes, Belinda Stewart-Wilson
Written by: Iain Morris, Damon Beesley
Directed by: Ben Palmer
MPAA Rating: R for strong crude and sexual content, some graphic nudity, language, alcohol and brief drug use
Running Time: 97
Date: 08/17/2011

The Inbetweeners Movie (2012)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Moanin' Holiday

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Ben Palmer, a director on the "Inbetweeners" TV series, makes his big screen debut with this. Perhaps realizing that 90 minutes worth of jokes about sex, penises and feces wasn't going to be enough, he and writers Iain Morris and Damon Beesley decided on some character development to fill things out. Unfortunately, since the characters are mostly stupid and rather thinly drawn, this didn't help much.

Will McKenzie (Simon Bird), who narrates, tells the story of a two-week summer vacation with his best friends Jay (James Buckley), Neil (Blake Harrison), and Simon (Joe Thomas), following their high school graduation. Their entire focus is on having sex and getting drunk, but things start to go wrong when their hotel looks more like a war zone and they wind up in the worst bar on the beach. Things continue to go wrong, partly through bad luck, and partly through the characters' own stupidity. Can their friendship stand the strain of a vacation, can they learn a little something, and -- if all goes well -- will they maybe even meet a few nice girls?

On the plus side, the characters are harmless and they do seem to have a genuine camaraderie together. A few honest-to-goodness laughs do turn up from time to time. Mostly, though, the movie ranges from mildly amusing to annoying, especially when the jokes come at the expense of fat girls, older women, and even little people. And after an entire movie, the same kinds of jokes repeated again and again can get very old.

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