Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Movie Poster Image
Fans will love Brit pals' drink- and drug-filled adventure.
  • R
  • 2016
  • 90 minutes

Parents say

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Kids say

age 13+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Amid dysfunctional relationships and irresponsible behavior (played for laughs) is a message about the importance of family and unconditional love between family members. Edina and Patsy's friendship has endured all manner of outrageous situations.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Saffron is a loving mother and patient, long-suffering daughter who cares about her mother unconditionally, despite all the terrible things Edina does to her. In the end, Edina does acknowledge all the ways she has wronged Saff and apologizes for her selfish behavior. Lots of self-absorbed, irresponsible behavior played for humor.

Violence

Slapstick scenes include women falling into the Thames and seemingly drowning (but they're just fine) and several humorous police chases. In one scene, Patsy is stunned with a Taser gun, but it doesn't affect her.

Sex

Saffron shares a couple of kisses with her boyfriend. Eddy asks Saffron if she's "sexying it" with her boyfriend. Patsy remembers her '70s relationship with a porn director. At a party filled with seniors, the women all chat and dance inside while the elderly husbands all hang out in the terrace, where scantily dressed women drape themselves all over them and yell "no first wives" at Eddy and Patsy. When she sees Stella McCartney, Patsy makes a suggestive reference to what she and Paul McCartney got up to in "1969."

Language

Strong language includes several uses of "f--k," including one scene in which a woman repeats it a dozen times; also "s--t," "arse," "bitch," "c--t," "cow," "bloody," and more.

Consumerism

Luxury and fashion brands are often mentioned or visible: Bentley, Mercedes, Range Rover, Bollinger champagne, Chanel/Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney, Vivienne Westwood.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Edina and Patsy are known to drink heavily -- and they do. They get very upset when they realize Eddy is out of champagne, and they even start licking bottles to get any residue off. They're rarely without a drink in hand and spend most of their time looking for their next party/cocktail. They also take a lot of pills, and Patsy snorts what's presumably cocaine. Several characters smoke cigarettes or e-cigarettes. Patsy encourages a 13-year-old girl to smoke cigarettes to fit in with a crowd of models.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie is a feature-length comedy based on the popular British TV series about two self-absorbed, middle-aged best friends (Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley) who are always on the lookout for the latest cocktail, youthful trend, beauty regimen, and luxury party. The vain, materialistic BFFs are now in their 60s but are still lushes who curse, pop pills, snort cocaine, and manipulate people (even one's own granddaughter) into paying for their upscale hi-jinks. There's quite a bit of strong language ("f--k" especially) and substance use (the two main characters are always drinking or taking something), but sexual content is limited to suggestive references (to past exploits and porn) and a couple of kisses. The violence is all slapstick with no injuries or deaths (just the momentary appearance of such).

User Reviews

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Kid, 12 years old August 13, 2016

REALLY GOOD MOVIE!!!!!!

I'm 12 years old and I went to go see absoluty fabulous with my friend and I definetly don't think that its 16+!! There is a couple of swear words, d... Continue reading

What's the story?

ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS: THE MOVIE is the continuation of the legendary BBC sitcom about two best friends: single mum Edina "Eddy" Monsoon (Jennifer Saunders) and single-for-life Patsy Stone (Joanna Lumley). Now that they're pushing 60, Eddy is sort of a has-been PR rep whose celebrity client list has dwindled to aging pop stars Lulu and Emma "Baby Spice" Bunton (both playing themselves). After party planner Patsy hears that Kate Moss has left her publicist, Eddy decides to rush in to sign her -- but accidentally pushes Moss into the Thames, leading to a nation-wide search for her body and criminal charges against Eddy. Taking along Eddy's beautiful teen granddaughter (for her credit card), Eddy and Patsy head to Cannes, where they hope to escape authorities by luring an older rich man to marry one of them and finance the good life. Meanwhile Eddy's sensible daughter, Saffron (Julia Sawalha), also flies to France to find her semi-kidnapped daughter.

Is it any good?

Forget about Girls and Broad City and enjoy the original best friends behaving badly: "60 is the new 40" champagne guzzlers Eddy and Patsy. In fact, Broad's Ilana and Abbi owe a debt to Eddy and Patsy's absurd shenanigans, which paved the way for fictional women friends to act every bit as immature, self-involved, and raucous as their male counterparts. Chock-full of British celebs (Sadie Frost, Stella McCartney, Alexa Chung, Suki Waterhouse, Dame Edna, and the grand dame of well-kept women of a certain age, Joan Collins), Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie is exactly what you'd expect from Saunders and Lumley: slapstick and humiliation humor and a hilariously enduring friendship that nothing can stop.

Beyond the central theme of partying besties, AbFab has always explored how Eddy's perpetual search for youthful relevance led her daughter, Saff, to be the "boring" mature one, and that dynamic continues in the movie. Yes, there are plenty of Stoli- and Bollinger-fueled excesses and exploits, but in the end this is also a story about friendship, family, and acceptance. While Americans might not clue in to all of the cameos, those who've see the Britcom will enjoy this additional hurrah from Eddy and Patsy, two of the most iconic female characters to ever grace the screen.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how drinking and drug use are portrayed in Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie. Are there consequences to Edina and Patsy's substance abuse? Why is that important?

  • Are there positive messages underneath the partying and selfishness? How would you describe them? Would you like the story/characters as much without them?

  • When the original show was first popular, there were few other female characters on the air who acted like Eddy and Patsy. How have things changed in pop culture? What current TV shows or movies are examples of "best friends behaving badly"?

  • Is it more unusual to see women over 60 acting this way than women in their 20s or even 40s? Why do you think that is?

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