The Festival (3 stars)

The Festival

Puerile but exuberant Inbetweeners-style comedy featuring typically game work from Joe Thomas

Another Inbetweeners movie in all but name, Iain Morris's latest is an exuberant comedy about friendship, break-ups and getting utterly spangled with a Smurf at a music festival. Joe Thomas plays Nick, a lovesick no-hoper not a million miles from his character Simon in the aforementioned Channel 4 sitcom. On graduation day, Nick's girlfriend Caitlin (Hannah Tointon) breaks up with him, leaving him distraught in front of the whole college.

Fortunately, his mate Shane (Hammed Animashaun) is there to pull him from his bed and take him to the festival they've just bought expensive tickets to. Shane is desperate to meet superstar DJ Hammerhead (Noel Fielding), while Nick is just desperate to avoid bumping into Caitlin. Needless to say that doesn't happen, as Morris and scriptwriters Keith Akushie and Joe Parham spend most of the film embarrassing their protagonist in whatever way possible.

Fair play to their lead actor, as he showed in The Inbetweeners, Thomas is game for just about anything, from performing a striptease for a hen party to racing through the festival in just his pants, while the squeamish amongst you may want to look the other way for the nipple ring sequence. Typically, Morris doesn't hold back: lashings of sex, drugs, mud and madness capture the festival vibe to a tee. There's also an incident involving a goat and some druids, but the less said about that the better.

Animashaun and Claudia O'Doherty – who plays Amy, a talkative festival veteran – are both very watchable foils to Nick's escalating misery. The film neatly nails the transitory nature of 'festival friends'– as when Nick hooks up with the girl dressed as a Smurf (Emma Rigby). In truth, the puerile gags don't always hit their targets. But when support is of the calibre of Fielding and Flight of the Conchords' Jemaine Clement, in Glastonbury's fallow year, this should scratch your festival itch.

General release from Tue 14 Aug.

The Festival

  • 3 stars
  • 2018
  • UK
  • 15
  • Directed by: Iain Morris
  • Cast: Joe Thomas, Hammed Animashaun, Claudia O'Doherty
  • UK release: 14 August 2018

Nick (Thomas) is a lovesick no-hoper whose mate Shane (Animashaun) drags him to a festival after Nick’s girlfriend (Tointon) has broken up with him. Thomas is game for seemingly any level of humiliation and while it doesn’t always hit its targets, it’s exuberant fun.