For those unfamiliar with Edina Monsoon and Patsy Stone, let’s just say they are the original trainwrecks.
Played by British comedy royalty, Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley, the embarrassingly clueless, champagne-binging duo beloved by UK television viewers since 1992 are taking on the 21st century — selfies, tinder and all — in “Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie,” out Friday.
Fans of the show will delight in familiar faces and classic gags, but viewers without memories of the show are in for a laugh too says Saunders, who wrote the screenplay.
“I’ve tried to be as faithful to the series as possible,” the 58-year-old said. “I think, you don’t have to understand everything in everything you watch, so if people don’t understand the joke, there’s another joke coming along they will get. And then there’s plenty of physical humor.”
There’s plenty of all-star cameos too. Taking place on the London fashion scene, the plot revolves around the mysterious disappearance of Kate Moss. Real-life famous models get in on the scene along with scores of celebs, including Emma Bunton and Jon Hamm.
The scale of society’s self-obsession has only grown over the years.
Back in the ’90s, the vacuity of Patsy and Eddie (Patsy is a magazine editor and Eddie is a PR agent) was too absurd to be real.
Fast forward to today though, and “they’re mild!” Saunders said. “This kind of Facebook generation ... is so self-obsessed. I think Eddie and Patsy live for the moment. They live in the moment. They don’t live a virtual self.”
“It’s a case of life imitating art,” Lumley, 70, added. “And life suddenly overtaking art. Because what we thought was hysterically funny and absurd has become the norm now.”
Doing the publicity rounds for the movie, Saunders and Lumley, though both based in the UK, had something of a homecoming in New York City.
Back in 2002, the pair was honored with an LGBT award in the city, and they were named honorary New Yorkers.
“I love New York. ... And we are New Yorkers!” Saunders declared.
“We are New Yorkers!” Lumley affirmed. “Honorary New Yorkers — for life!”