The Inbetweeners

Art & Culture

Not having watched the TV series, I can’t make comparisons, but I can tell you that this movie about four idiot teenagers is funny, on a par with Bridesmaids, and with a similar vein of humour.

Will, Jay, Simon and Neil are fresh out of school, footloose, fancy free and ready to form a Pussay patrol (their term, not mine). So they head for Crete to the sex and booze town where half baked and fully drunk members of both sexes go to spend their money and annoy the natives.

Will is the intellectual of the party, as well as the film’s narrator. He is the speccy, dweeby one of the quartet, somewhat like Richard Dreyfuss in American Graffiti, beyond redemption as a babe magnet and hanging out with his thicker friends for want of any social options. Jay is just plain dim, Simon has half a brain but is hopelessly in love with Carly who has dumped him. Neil is living proof that even if you look a like a cross between a giraffe and a crocodile, confidence and shamelessness will get you a long way with the opposite sex. And there just so happen to be 4 women on the same plane, and at the same destination. And although there seem to be insuperable obstacles to any of the guys forming a lasting (or even temporary) bond with any of them, you kind of know that somehow or other, those obstacles will be overcome. And the film’s success lies in the fact that you hope they do, and are glad when they have.

Because although these four guys are imbeciles, they are endearing imbeciles. Their hearts are not really in their obsession with booze and sex, and their crude sense of humour is only a mask for their anxieties. They just want someone to love. And they are extremely funny, as they trample all over the island, being disgusting in as many ways as you can think of, and then several more. Another reason for the film’s success is that the women, while not exactly fully rounded characters, and despite being clearly much more attractive and interesting than the men, are at least likeable and believable people. Which makes a change, even if we are required to swallow a certain amount of male wish fulfillment, especially in the case of Will.

A comedy is meant to make you laugh. Most Hollywood comedies fail to do so. This one had me laughing almost from the beginning, and at times, I had to try to stop myself laughing to listen to the next part of the film. Yes, I have a puerile streak, and so, judging by the noise in the cinema, do lots of others. In fact the greatest testimony to the film’s success, is that when the friends I was with complained afterwards about other people talking during the film, I could honestly say I hadn’t even noticed.