Mr. Grace closes his family's department store for remodeling and sends his giddy staff on holiday to a tropical resort called Costa Plonka. There's trouble in paradise, however: the revelers have landed in the middle of a revolution. It's quite a leap from pushing ladies' and gents' furnishings to dodging bullets, but your favorite shop clerks and their sidekicks make a madcap go of it. 95 min.
Writers Jeremy Lloyd and David Croft managed something quite clever with this, the film version of the 1970s sitcom Are You Being Served?
The idea of this cheery collection of comedy stereotypes--the pompous one, the vulgar one, the camp one, the shifty one, and so on--being confined within a department store was a master stroke, as it allowed any kind of situation to arise without the plot having to exceed the restrictions imposed by the set. How, then, to keep the same theme for the big screen without just offering the television series writ large? Simple: send the whole cast on holiday together but make sure they can't leave their hotel, a state of affairs contrived easily enough by throwing a guerilla uprising into the plot. So it is, then, that the staff of Grace Bros. descends on the Costa Plonka while the store is closed for refurbishment. There are all the usual jokes involving knickers, boobs, toilets, and gay sex (sometimes all at once), adding up to a good slice of nostalgic fun for anyone who was there when lapels really were that wide. --Roger Thomas