*** out of four
Look, let's face it – the new Ghostbusters isn't very good, and not because its main cast is female. It's just poorly written and not very funny. Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie, based on the BBC comedy series that first aired in 1992, is written by a woman, directed by a woman (Mandie Fletcher), and starring women – and it's absolutely hilarious.
PR agent Edina Monsoon (Jennifer Saunders, who is also the co-creator of the show and the film's writer) and magazine editor Patsy Stone (Joanna Lumley) are back covering the London fashion scene, and both are still drug-abusing alcoholics. The plot kicks into motion when Edina possibly kills fashion model Kate Moss by accident. Needless to say, Edina is hated by everyone, so she and Patsy escape to the south of France with a plan for Patsy to marry an old, rich flame.
I would occasionally see an episode of the show, but I never watched it religiously so I don't know all the side characters. Still, this didn't alter my enjoyment of the movie because it is able to stand on its own with a self-contained story.
This is refreshing, twisted lunacy that is probably John Waters' favorite movie of the year. Ab Fab is also a nice escape from the crop of overblown summer flicks.