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27 September 2011

Strangely likeable hormonal drunkards

The Inbetweeners Movie is here.

By Gina Allum

So, what’s a girl to do when the National Theatre Live screening of One Man Two Guvnors is fully booked down the local multiplex? Why, she opts to see The Inbetweeners Movie instead, of course!

Those unfamiliar with the slanguage of teens should look away now; this is a film of sexonyms on the beach, it’s a vaginal thesaurus-on-sea. Neil, Jay, Simon and Will, freshly familiar from their TV series (The Inbetweeners, E4), are uploaded in full widescreen puerility and Dolby surround rudery, to the party resort of Malia, Crete. Sporting “Pussay Patrol” T-shirts and looking like “the world’s shittest boy band”, they travel hopefully in pursuit of getting laid. It’ll be like “shooting clunge in a barrel, ” swears Jay.

The Brits-abroad, Club 18-30 (or IQ 18-30) scenario is a familiar one. That cocktail of alcohol, sex, clubbing, drugs and sunburn; the sea of party boats bobbing on a fishy undertow of violence. There are gags (and gagging) galore, and the best-worst dance moves I’ve seen in a long, long while. Move over Ricky Gervais, and not before time.

The joke is so often on the boys that it’s impossible not to warm to them, even as you wince. They are such wholesale losers that even the hateful synecdochic habit of referring to women by their constituent parts (one constituent part in particular) starts to look innocuous. They are welcomed to their filthy hostel by the sight of the proprietor fishing a dead dog out of a well. They are regularly cozened out of their clothing. Neil takes a dump in “the child’s toilet” in their continental bathroom. An erect leaking phallus is sun-lasered onto Will’s back after Simon doodles its shape in sunscreen. You can smell the failure on them, as sharp as Lynx.

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Though the talk is all of sex, the real pull is between the unlikely lads themselves. There’s an elegiac and liminal feel as these man-children bid farewell to schooldays and perhaps to each other (partly, surely, because the actors are starting to get wrinkly.) Time is about to be called on the cretins on Crete. The holiday bromance has to end.

And what of the “tail” end of the cocktail? Well, at least the girls are given credit for some proactivity- the boys are not the only ones with sex on their minds. Both genders are out on it, for lots of it. The redemptive totties that the not-so-fab four meet are relatively smart and savvy (apart from Neil’s mate who is his perfect match in dimness: like Mrs to Mr Potato Head, she is his adoring reflection.) It’s the boys who blub like babies when the girls take their flight home.

But The Inbetweeners behave like morons and the intelligent, beautiful “pussay” waits for them patiently. You can act, apparently, like a tool: get lagered up and off-your-face on fishbowls, fall asleep in an ant’s nest and comprehensively insult your girl (in Jay’s case) and she will still be there to offer to pleasure you- a case of better fellate than never, I guess. Like the old-school Cretan clunge, Ariadne, the laydeez are left hanging around in the Aegean, waiting for the boys to grow up. Who’s the joke really on?