Life is what you make it. I recently moved from a quiet town in the country to chase my big city dreams. Nothing ever goes smoothly, nothing is ever what it seems, but everyday I am getting closer. I am yet another slightly less-than-average girl trying to find her way in London, and in life.

Monday, 22 August 2011

The Inbetweeners: "It'll be like shooting clunge in a barrel"

I love The Inbetweeners. Like a few million over Brits, I tuned in every week to watch the frankly disturbing escapades of our 4 suburban anti-heroes. With painfully awkward Will; desperately hopeless Simon; adorably demented but everyone's favourite Neil and compulsive liar, love-but-hate, we-all-have-a-bullshitting-friend-just-like-him, Jay, it provided a cocktail of odd-balls that shouldn't work but undoubtedly does, much like the mismatch that is our own high schools.

When I first saw it advertised on E4 in 2008 (was it really that long ago?) I thought it would be like decent version of Skins, just where the actors had vague talent and it would be somewhat entertaining. And it might not make me want to slit my wrists, which is always nice from an entertainment program that's designed to provide blissful escapism. Although I may have been wrong on the whole about acting ability, it definitely made up for it in humour. Like many others, by the time The Inbetweeners Movie came out, I was desperate to see it. After a long Inbetweener-less summer, I finally got my chance to meet up with the foursome that I came to consider friends. But after such an esteemed series that combined dry wit, hilarious teen antics and down right repulsiveness which proved to be such a great combination, would the movie live up to its former reputation and subsequent expectations?

In a nutshell, though it pains me to admit it, no. I did expect more from The Inbetweeners Movie.

But that still doesn't stop me from absolutely loving it.

Like the third series, I felt I was waiting for something that never really happened. Maybe something unpredictable and exciting, as instead we followed that same old tried and tested generic routine that guarantees success, but left me feeling a bit bored. Saying that, the film definitely kicked up the crude humour and visual jokes and took many more risks than the series was ever able to, and hats off to the boys who obviously put everything they had in to making the film the best they could.

I do feel a bit of a hypocrite – it’s like those people who watch a scary film then complain when the soon-to-be-victim runs upstairs when being chased or investigates a strange noise in a dark room (yes, that's me too). We want to see certain things from our films. If the boys had an average, somewhat dull summer holiday staying in most nights and then all went back home and decided they'd had enough partying, were all grown up and just wanted to get serious jobs and settle down, we'd wonder what the hell had happened. We want to be surprised, but at the same time surprises will never satisfy an audience - we want boys to get into mischief and have a typically cheesy "everything will work out somehow" ending. And that’s what we get. How can a film ever satisfy us if we know what we want, but at the same time are disappointed if we get it? My God we're a complicated bunch.

Despite whatever conundrums the production team may have faced when pondering such options, I think that The Inbetweeners did a good a job as possible, and from the record breaking opening sales, I think they're all going to be pretty happy with how it turned out. And despite my nitpicking, towards the end of the film I was happily riding The Inbetweeners wave and desperate for the antics to continue. Ultimately, my overreaching expectations lulled; I gave in to the easy, cheap comedy and embraced the buzz of summer that never found its way to England this year, but reminded me so wonderfully of my early-June week in Zante.

No matter what, The Inbetweeners was guaranteed a massive audience, which they have, and I am happy about that. The Inbetweeners reminds me so much of my life, the drunken holidays and the best friends that you want to kill at times. That is The Inbetweeners ultimate appeal – the nostalgia; the familiar situations; how easy it is to relate to the characters in one way or another. And that is a timeless recipe for success.

Recommend to a friend? Absolutely.

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