Nick (Joe Thomas) and his best friend Shane (Hammed Animashaun) have just graduated from University and have tickets to their first music festival. Unfortunately for Nick his girlfriend Caitlin (Hannah Tointon) has just dumped him and she is going to the festival as well.
It’s surprising to find out that The Festival is only directed by the creator of the Inbetweeners and not written by him as well, because the humour and characters feel directly lifted from that show. Iain Morris who wrote the Inbetweeners series and films as well as directing the second feature is not the writer here. That honour goes to Keith Akushie and Joe Parham who have tv credits such as Fresh Meat and Cuckoo to their name. But the character of Nick here played by Joe Thomas is essentially the same as Simon Cooper played by the same actor in the Inbetweeners. Self centred, nervously controlling and capable of embarrassing himself in monumentally bizarre ways. Just to add to the similarity, his girlfriend in The Festival is played by the same actress who briefly played his Inbetweeners character’s girlfriend! You could easily just pretend that Simon dropped his old pals when he went to Uni, got a new best friend and is now at this festival.
The similarities to the Inbetweeners do not end there either, the humour and scenarios the characters get into are very similar as well. Painful to watch, ridiculous to consider but hilariously funny. But this isn’t a one trick pony. Jermaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords) is the star of the opening 20 minutes as Shane’s stepdad. Delightfully awkward and in touch with his emotions he can make a Crowded House song feel like the comedy high point of the film. And then there are Nick’s new friends. Hammed Animashaun is great as the best friend who clearly knows his friends short comings but tries to help him anyway and Claudia O’Doherty as a slightly lonely festival veteran is able to be both annoying and sweet at the same time.
It also nails the nostalgia for how you think your life should have been that the Inbetweeners did so well. There will be people of a certain age who will watch this and perhaps consider getting their wellies on again for a festival again. I certainly had pangs of that before I remembered how grotty it all is!
I laughed loudly and frequently throughout. It does tail off as it nears its conclusion with the situation getting increasingly out of hand but if you enjoy this sort of humour you will be very satisfied.