Those who live in the UK got the chance to see The Inbetweeners Movie an entire year before audiences in the US. The film is a follow-up to an insanely popular British television show, which is in the same vein as American Pie, as it follows a group of horny teenagers trying to get laid. Unfortunately, I didn't get the chance to watch any of the show before seeing the motion picture. It's likely that I missed some inside jokes from the TV show, but I still found to the film to be enjoyable enough.
A group of four boys, Will McKenzie (Simon Bird), Simon Cooper (Joe Thomas), Jay Cartwright (James Buckley), and Neil Sutherland (Blake Harrison), are getting ready to go on vacation to Malia, Crete. Before they leave, Jay's grandfather dies, Simon is dumped by his girlfriend, Carli (Emily Head), and Will's divorced father admits that he's getting married again. The boys feel that by going on vacation, they can escape all of the troubles they're enduring in their lives. Once they arrive at their hotel, they see that they're staying in a nasty building. The vacation appears to be an absolute disaster until they meet a nice group of girls.
The Inbetweeners is an extremely simple flick. There aren't any surprises and most certainly isn't anything here that audiences haven't seen before. It's almost impossible to not instantly think of American Pie when watching this. Similarities aside, this film has its own charms that sets it apart from that franchise of movies. It's rare for me to say this about a comedy, but the characters definitely develop a connection with the audience by the time the film ends. These aren't deeply written roles, but viewers will be able to affix themselves with at least one of the characters. It's a shame that all of their stories are so predictable. This is one of those movies where anything that can go wrong, does go wrong. Each gross-out gag can be seen from a mile away. This holds true for the ending, as well, but to an even greater extent. Fortunately, there are some lines of sharp dialogue that will have audiences laughing up a storm. Don't expect to be howling with laughter the entire movie, especially since some of the vulgar humor becomes a bit worn after a while, but The Inbetweeners Movie has some humorous moments.
Aside from the predictability factor, there are multiple side-stories that have the word "average" written all over them. You'd expect to see these mini plots in a rushed direct-to-video release and it goes against the direction the movie is pushing in. One includes Jay conflicting with his feelings for a girl he meets on vacation, Jane (Lydia Rose Bewley), due to her being a little bit overweight. It's an ongoing theme throughout the entire movie and it's an unnecessary story to have running alongside the main plot. Each character has their own sub-plot, but this is the most irritating out of the bunch.
While the presentation of each character is solid, the actors sell the roles. Simon Bird, James Buckley, Blake Harrison, and Joe Thomas are convincing enough in the pack. There aren't any groundbreaking performances here, but they're successful in drawing the connection from the screen to the moviegoer. All of the main characters starred in the original British TV show, so the relationships they already shared between each other most certainly helped for the movie. Some of the acting becomes somewhat sappy during the lighter moments of the picture, but the humor is delivered well.
The jokes are decent and there's some sharp and witty humor, which is delivered by actors who are actually able to create a connection with the audience. However, some of the gross-out gags become repetitive and the unnecessary sub-plots don't flow with the direction the primary story is moving in. Despite my issues with the feature, fans of the original British TV show are sure to enjoy seeing the continuation of their characters' stories. Newcomers may not get quite as much out of it, but it's still worth checking. The Inbetweeners Movie has a its strong points, but it isn't able to create quite as much laughter as the filmmakers intended. Wait until it's available as a rental.