Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie

Rated 2.0

Those boozy, self-absorbed women Edina and Patsy (Jennifer Saunders, Joanna Lumley) are back, along with Edina’s long-suffering daughter Saffron (Julia Sawalha)—and all that’s changed is that they’re 24 years older and Saffron has a teenage daughter (Indeyarna Donaldson-Holness). Back in 1961, a lot of people tut-tutted that Bob Hope and Bing Crosby had made one too many Road pictures, and the same dynamic is at work here—except that Saunders and Lumley have stretched things out even longer than Hope and Crosby did. The BBC sitcom’s happy-camper fan base will probably be pleased, and there are celebrity cameos by everyone from Kate Moss and Lulu to Jon Hamm and Dame Edna Everage, but the hilarity is labored and dreary. Director Mandie Fletcher is powerless to strike sparks; the fire has gone cold. J.L.