Australian Council on Children and the Media

Absolutely Fabulous: The movie

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Not recommended under 15 due to themes, coarse language, sexual references and substance use.

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Absolutely Fabulous: The movie
  • a review of Absolutely Fabulous: The movie completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 28 July 2016.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 15 Not recommended due to themes, coarse language, sexual references and substance use.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Absolutely Fabulous: The movie
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Coarse language, drug use and sexual references
Length 91 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

The queens of superficiality, Patsy Stone (Joanna Lumley) and Edina (or Eddie) Monsoon (Jennifer Saunders) are down on their luck. Eddie’s ex has cancelled her credit cards,  her autobiography has just been rejected by the publishers, and her PR business is diminishing. The ageing Patsy is no longer attracting men and  therefore her source of income has gone. Eddie plans to resurrect her career by making Kate Moss her new client. However, in the haste to speak with Kate at a fashion extravaganza, Edina accidentally pushes her from a balcony into the river.

Kate Moss is now presumed to be dead and Edina is the target of hate mail and Twitter trolls. Eddie and Patsy have to disappear and flee to the South of France, hoping to convince a wealthy old flame to marry Patsy. Charlie (Barry Humphries) however, now has the company of many scantily clad young women on his yacht and has no need of Patsy. Patsy then has to come up with another inventive way to make money and, disguised as a man, she woos a wealthy old widow. The law finally catches up with them, however, and it seems that their doom is sealed when luck intervenes in the form of a living Kate Moss.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Drug use; superficial lives; income and finances; ageing; gay and transgender issues

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence and accidental harm in this movie, mostly played for laughs, including:

  • Patsy falls out of a car; walks into a door
  • Eddie trashes the office when her book is rejected.
  • A brick is thrown through the window of Eddie’s house.
  • An aggressive female cabin steward ‘tasers’ Patsy for smoking on the plane.
  • Patsy and Eddie crash their car into a river and nearly drown.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

Apart from the violence and accidental harm described above, there is nothing particularly scary for children

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Apart from the violence and accidental harm described above, there is nothing particularly scary for children

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Apart from the violence and accidental harm described above, there is nothing particularly scary for children

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Nothing of concern

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Chanel no 5
  • TK-Max
  • Top Shop

Sexual references

There are many sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Reference to Patsy taking Johnny Hamm’s virginity
  • Patsy talks about Hugh dropping his trousers and getting a ‘prossie blow job’.
  • Eddie asks Patsy why she didn’t marry any of the men she slept with.
  • Patsy talks about her sexual experiences.
  • Charlie says he misses pubic hair and hates all those Brazilian jobs.
  • Charlie says to avoid the jacuzzi, which is a ‘smoothie of old sperm’.
  • Eddie’s daughter goes to a transvestite bar where she appeals to them for help. This is a very ‘camp’ scene with men highly made up and in fancy clothes.
  • Talk about going to a ‘lesbo’ party.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some partial nudity in this movie, including:

  • a view of a woman’s bare bottom from behind

Use of substances

There is a lot of substance use in this movie, including:

  • Patsy smokes continuously throughout the movie
  • Patsy and Eddie both drink to excess, out of bottles, and in all sorts of places
  • Patsy and Eddie smoke a bong and get high.
  • Plenty of drinking, smoking and vaping at parties and events.

Coarse language

There is frequent coarse language in this movie, including:

  • several uses of the word fuck; Oh my God; bitch; Jesus; God; piss; bugger

In a nutshell

Absolutely Fabulous: The movie is a comedy about two sad, ageing women who are still trying to ‘live the dream’. It is full of cameos, clichés, stereotypes and an unoriginal storyline. Even the cameos fail to save the day. It will appeal to viewers of the television show of the same name but is likely to disappoint. The themes, coarse language, sexual references and substance use make it unsuitable for children under 15.

The main messages from this movie are that shallowness and superficiality will ultimately bring you down.

Parents may wish to discuss the mean-spiritedness of the main characters trying to extract money by devious means. While this was played for comedy, it is of course a terrible thing to do.

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