Following on from Are You Being Served comes another feature length 70s comedy getting the reissue treatment – The Likely Lads.
The title itself is a bit confusing – this is the film version of Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads – the 70s sequel to the original 60s series. Made in 1976, it appeared a couple of years after Whatever… ended – and in truth, it’s a rather hit and miss ending to one of the all-time classic sitcoms.
The biggest problem is the plot – or lack of one. As I mentioned previously on the Are You Being Served review, what works over half an hour doesn’t necessarily work over 90 minutes. So what we get here is a plot that would perhaps work over 30 minutes rapidly running out of legs.
That plot revolves around Terry finding a new (Finnish) girlfriend, then making up a foursome for a caravan holiday with Bob and Thelma (pet). It all ends in disaster, Terry splits with his girlfriend, Bob moves out of the family home – and in with Terry – and the rest of the film is succession of scrapes as Bob attempts to reconcile with his wife.
Despite all that, and the over-sentimentality (more so than usual), it’s still very funny. Terry and Bob are two of comedy’s finest characters, some of the scrapes are up there with the TV shows’ best and the writing is top notch. Even if it doesn’t hold together for the duration, the one liners ("I’d offer you a can, but I’ve only got six") are pure class and worth the price tag alone.
If you like the series, you’ll enjoy this. Even if it doesn’t reach the heights of the TV show, it still has enough moments to be worthwhile purchase.