Are You Being Served?
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John Inman, Mollie Sugden, Frank Thornton. The classic BBC sitcom takes a shot at the big screen-where it gets a lot cheekier and outrageous! Here, the Grace Brothers department store is being remodeled, and the staff enjoys a dizzying, romp-filled holiday in Costa Plonka. 1977/color/96 min/NR/widescreen.
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Top Customer Reviews
It's cute enough, and as an avid RUBnSrvd Fan, I think it's one you need to have... but the show is better!
I've not found the show available for streaming yet online, and so I bought this because it was the only thing that came up when I did the search...
I own the original show on DVD, the boxed set, and Love it, and I'd like to eventually get the Grace and Favor series to complete the set, but this film is really for purists, collectors, and those with nowhere else to turn for RUBnSrvd content...
It's fun... but it doesn't hold a candle to the real deal...
I was a bit less pleased, in terms of continuity, with the actual holiday scenes. As has oft been pointed out many of the jokes and material are recycled. However, The "Dear Sexy Knickers" scene was, in my opinion, quite a bit BETTER than the original TV episode routine, precisely because it did last longer and take the joke further with the follow up, "Dear Sexy Y-Fronts."
The amorous tent-hopping scene was quite amusing, although I couldn't help but be reminded of the better and much funnier room-hopping scene in the season 5 episode of Frasier, "The Ski Lodge." I feel like that scene could have delivered a bit better. I was also put off by the terrible special effect caterpillar they used in the tent scenes.
I agree with the comments that Mr. Humphries seemed quite a bit "gayer" in the movie compared to the series, which I neither took as positive or a negative, just an interesting thing to note. On the plus side some of the humour was a bit more explicit and pushed the envelop further, often delivering, but on the downside a lot of the original humour associated with the character was in his ambiguity, and he was just a lot less ambiguous in the movie.
I also agree with the comments about the laugh track/audience being sorely missed. I also quite missed the cash register sounds between scenes, and yes the lack of these familiar, beloved sounds and effects did make the pacing and jokes feel just a bit off.
I thoroughly enjoyed the plotline involving Mrs. Slocombe using a fake photo of her head on someone else's body and all the missassumptions it caused. That was a new, fresh device for the show and in my opinion they got a great deal of positive mileage out of it. I think it should also be noted that back in that era, despite the jokes to the contrary, Mollie Sugden really did still have a nice figure.
My biggest complaint of the movie was the entire revolution plot, which just seemed over-the-top and not especially amusing, and worse the attempts at Spanish/cultural comedy. The latter is certainly no deviation from the show, however. Throughout its run AYBS attempted to poke fun at many foreign cultures: Japanese, Germans, Italians, Greeks, Mongolians (Grace and Favor), Arabs, and I'm sure many others I'm forgetting. They were all awful and almost painful to watch with the exaggerated stereotyping, tacky attempts to 'speak the language' by adding or dropping a few letters of otherwise standard English words, and generally conveying the attitude that foreigners are to be mocked. I could have done without them adding the Spanish to the list in this movie. The only exceptions, in my personal estimation, were the frequent lampooning of the Americans, Irish, Welsh, and Scottish throughout the original series - that didn't strike me as offensive at all, just lighthearted teasing. I imagine in large part because there was no need (excuse?) to do the terrible mock language jokes.
Anyway, all in all I did thoroughly enjoy this movie. It was great in the larger context of the series and a must see for any AYBS fan. Although I can't imagine a non-AYBS fan particularly enjoying it. It doesn't stand alone, but it's a nice companion piece.
I was at a friends' house and we were watching these British sitcoms and Are You Being Served? came on and it was so funny when I saw Mrs. Slocombe staying in this "apartment" in the department store and she was going to be with Mr. Humphries after the lights went out and people kept coming in her "apartment" and 2 of the guys had to stay in one bed and I was just totally cracking up!! Then the very last thing Mrs. Slocombe says before the credits that I'll never forget, "Mr. Humphries, Leave My P***y Alone!" I was just totally rolling on the floor after that. I HAD to buy that episode on DVD and I just got Vol 9 last week and I just totally love this show!! Mr. Humphries and Mrs. Slocombe are just amazing and hilarious!! Since I've seen this episode which is called The Apartment, I have watched many other episodes on PBS and I crack up everytime!! I do plan to own every episode on DVD one day!
Another favorite that I also started watching is Keeping Up Appearances and I really wish that was still showing as well. And for years I've heard of Judi Dench and just recently started watching As Time Goes By as well. Judi Dench is also amazing. I really love these British sitcoms so much especially Keeping Up Appearances and Are You Being Served? and now all I can do is watch the DVD's or see re-runs on PBS. I really do wish that they would return Are You Being Served? because in my opinion, it beats any American sitcom any day!! I didn't realize what I've been missing all these 26 years of living, living in the U.S. but now that I've discovered the British way of sitcoms, I'll never turn back!!!