THE INBETWEENERS: 15
RUNNING TIME: 95 minutes
DIRECTOR: Ben Palmer
STARRING: Simon Bird, James Buckley, Blake Harrison, Joe Thomas
ARE you a teenage boy? Or a teenage girl? Or a 20-something adult who remembers the daily pain of high school with a clarity you’d rather forget?
The beauty of The Inbetweeners’ jump to the big screen is that it captures with excruciating accuracy every embarrassing, idiotic and nauseating situation an 18-year-old lives to regret.
Disastrous sexual encounters? Covered. Blind stupidity? Most definitely. Unrelenting torture at the hands of parents, girls and the biggest critics of all, your mates? In all its painstaking glory.
When the jokes aren’t flirting with your gag reflex, you’re cringing from behind your fingers. Picking up where the wildly successful E4 series left off, the sitcom spin-off shines an unflattering spotlight on the boys’ final summer before university.
Simon is wallowing after being dumped by Carly, Jay still reckons he’s a suburban Lothario, Will continues to look permanently constipated and Neil is as dim as ever.
The clueless foursome head to Crete in search of sex, booze and girls: a Lads on Tour holiday where the likelihood of any of them bagging a bird would be a genuine miracle. Teenage boys can be absolutely vile at the best of times but stick them on a package holiday to Malia and the inevitably for disaster multiplies with every ill-advised shot of Ouzo.
Duped by a commission-hungry rep the boys spend the first evening in a bar that resembles a Blackpool bingo hall. They attempt to impress a group of attractive girls by dancing in an epileptic chorus line and predictably fail to capitalise on the golden opportunity that’s fallen into their hapless laps.
Despite their ineptitude the girls continue to cross the lads’ paths offering more sympathy than they rightly deserve. Sadly none of our desperate heroes could pull a girl unless they were implanted with magnets.
For anyone that’s been on an 18-21 two-weeker, The Inbetweeners captures the atmosphere in all its seedy, fake-tanned glory – in years to come when 4D cinema is all the rage the aroma of fresh vomit and Lynx will be overpoweringly emanating from the screen.
Though largely unrepeatable the dialogue is razor sharp, side-splittingly visceral and 100 per cent believable. There’s not a G-string out of place and nor is there a moment where the comedy flops. It’s a coming-of-age film for anyone whose formative years spanned the last three decades and its occasional sweetness and horror-show antics make it one of this year’s best offerings.