Top positive review
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Sexy Y-Fronts Filled Out Nicely
on July 3, 2014
I watched this movie after a marathon binge of all 10 series of AYBS and the 2 series of "Grace and Favour." In that context I absolutely loved it! It was wonderful seeing the original cast together on the big screen. I quite enjoyed the different yet 'larger' feel of the store set. I also felt that most of the store scenes kept the continuity of the show nicely.
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.