Edina Monsoon and Patsy Stone are: rude, irresponsible, drunks, addicts, capitalist fashionista posers, hopeless, selfish, self-absorbed, and truly terrible people. They’re absolutely fabulous, and it’s impossible not to love them.

It was always going to be difficult to sculpt a satisfying film about two characters who above all refuse to learn and grow. Star and writer Jennifer Saunders does allow for, if not growth, at least a little of getting to the truth of Eddy and Pats. As they stumble, trashed, from fabulous party to disaster and back again, we all recognise the sad hilarious drunken hope that the party will never end. All of us in some part know that if we could handle aging with the same lack of grace, we’d at least be guaranteed a really great time.

Though the comedy sometimes threatens to fall into the cringy, Saunders’ and Lumley’s performances always keep this from tipping over. As ever, Patsy is completely brilliant. Lumley even seems to have perfected Patsy over time, and inspires several bouts of genuinely hysterical laughter. Some excellent cameos also crop up (notably Kathy Burke), among the not-so-excellent ones (oh Baby Bunton… ). Generally the film is a little light on punchlines but this is ultimately for fans of the original series, which was never about quick-fire slapstick gags. It was about the tickling joy of watching two badly-behaved best friends together, making their way from disaster to disaster, and not once questioning how much they adore each other.

A middling but gleeful comedy, Ab Fab’s reputation hasn’t suffered any for another instalment that fits nicely onto the big screen. It’s got as much heart as style, and Pats and Eddy are as iconic as ever. As Patsy is happy to remind us, it’s still such tremendous fun.

RATING: 3/5


INFORMATION

CAST: Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley, Julia Sawalha, June Whitfield, Jane Horrocks, Kate Moss

DIRECTOR: Mandie Fletcher

WRITER: Jennifer Saunders

SYNOPSIS: Eddy and Patsy may have aged but they’re no older, no wiser and are still having a tremendously good time. Until, that is, Eddy accidentally pushes Kate Moss into the Thames, and they’re forced to go on the run.