Writers Jeremy Lloyd and David Croft managed something quite clever with this, the film version of the 1970s sitcom Are You Being Served? The idea of this cheery collection of comedy stereotypes--the pompous one, the vulga... more »r one, the camp one, the shifty one, and so on--being confined within a department store was a master stroke, as it allowed any kind of situation to arise without the plot having to exceed the restrictions imposed by the set. How, then, to keep the same theme for the big screen without just offering the television series writ large? Simple: send the whole cast on holiday together but make sure they can't leave their hotel, a state of affairs contrived easily enough by throwing a guerilla uprising into the plot. So it is, then, that the staff of Grace Bros. descends on the Costa Plonka while the store is closed for refurbishment. There are all the usual jokes involving knickers, boobs, toilets, and gay sex (sometimes all at once), adding up to a good slice of nostalgic fun for anyone who was there when lapels really were that wide. --Roger Thomas« less
Charlotte E. from LITTLE ROCK, AR Reviewed on 6/1/2013...
We are great fans of "Are You Being Served" TV series, so we ordered this DVD. If you have not seen all the TV episodes, this is a good selection. It is funny, but has so much of what you have seen on the TV series that it is just "rerun" script. Still funny, and good for a laugh.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
WADE T. (bookbear) from AUBURN, AL Reviewed on 8/7/2010...
This took me back years to when I watched the series on PBS. It's a shame there's no subtitles, because it's hard to understand what they're saying half the time.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Give Grace A Chance!
Lally & Willetts | Northiam, East Sussex. England | 06/09/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have read the various reviews on here that give this film version a bit of a panning. I note that the reviewers are also mostly from America. I felt it deserved a bit of an explanation from a Brit who saw this film at the movies when it was released and who has had an affectionate view of it ever since.
Back in the 70's it was traditional for many famous TV comedies of the time to get a filmed version released and AYBS was no exception. They were made mainly for domestic consumption - few people back then could ever have envisaged them being made so widely available, especially not in Video or disc format. Almost all of these TV spin-offs were essentially regurgitated episode scripts, with a bit of extra business occasionally thrown in for good measure. They deliberatley cashed in on the tremendous success of the TV series - just imagine it, with sometimes as many as 15 million peple regularly tuning in there was a ready made cinema market for such stuff! The filmed version of AYBS is therefore different in feel - mainly due to the absence of a studio audience (the BBC did not use laughter tracks at that time - if they ever have!). There are some very, very funny performances in the film though - especially Mrs Slocombe getting her "jacksie full of vaccine" and getting her passport photo taken. From a UK perspective it is also funny as it shows up our tiny island's wonderfully parochial attitude to foreigners and 'going abroad' for a holiday; something that was still in its relative infancy at that time. It's more of a time capsule than the TV series is. I would ask that you all give this film a second chance - it isn't as bad as some people have said on here, it's just different. The performances are still wonderful. Watch and enjoy if only to laugh at how gloriously pompous us Brits can be when we talk about our fellow European neighbours! I have watched it more times than I care to remember - and it makes me laugh every time!"
Are You Being Served: The Movie - - AYBS in a nutshell
RONALD | Monticello, AR | 10/29/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Having been a fan of AYBS for a number of years, I eagarly awaited arrival of this video, and the wait did not disappoint me. Old fans and new acquaintances will enjoy this movie once a few guidelines are realized. First, this is a movie and not a television show. The laughtrack is gone but the set is more realistic and more modern (the store setting, for example, looks like a real store and not a stage prop). Previous reviews regarding poor sound and lighting quality are perhaps a bit too demanding, as is the complaint that the jokes are straight from the show. I went through the entire movie before I "remembered the jokes" -- they flow through the movie well. Second, please remember that this is AYBS, its not supposed to be realistic as no good comedy is. The original cast is here, in their youthful, energetic selves. Its only fault, in my opinion, is that there's a lengthy delay before they get into the trip itself, but this is only a minor problem. I would recommend this video to anyone, providing that they judge the movie by its own standards and not compare it to the show."
If your an AYBS fan then you need to also have this movie:-)
RONALD | 07/08/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It is a great addition you any AYBS fan's collection. Starring the origional cast with Grainger and Lucas (however it has Mr. Harmon rather than Mr. Nash from Maint.)The voices seem a little different in the movie rather than the television series, and you do miss the laughter from the audience - however it is still classic Are You Being Served and good for some great laughs! If you are an AYBS fan buy this movie - if you are not a fan, well you should be! ;-)"
I saw it multiple times and it got better...
David Bennett | Ohio, United States | 01/04/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Originally I found the AYBS movie a bit weak. Many of the jokes are repeated from the episodes, and the store looks different. Also, the plot is a little far-fetched. However, after viewing it several times (thanks to occasional boring Ohio winter days), I came to appreciate it much more. In fact I was laughing hysterically after watching it the third time.The original cast is there, plus a few extras. The holiday to Spain idea is pretty creative, since we always hear the cast talk about holidays on the show. Certain jokes are new, and they are rather funny. Even if the movie doesn't strike you as original, or even funny, owning the movie is essential for any AYBS fan. Its like owning a piece of history, since the series only ran for 69 episodes."