Man About Town: The slight return of the proper premiere
It wasn't a sequel, nor was it a remake – but that wasn't why the arrival of The Inbetweeners film this week was such a refreshing change.
Rather, it was because for the first time in ages, its opening in Leicester Square felt like a proper premiere.
With the exception of the Harry Potter and Bond films, every bit of the excitement and glamour of the modern premiere has disappeared in a swoosh of budget cuts.
Just a few years ago, the actors would fly in the night before and stay until the following day. Canny publicists, meanwhile, would tip off the photographers as to their whereabouts, giving the papers three days' worth of pictures. Today, the cast might jet in for a single evening, a mere stage on their whistle-stop tour to get their pictures taken in as many time zones as possible.
Reluctant to talk to the press for fear of being misquoted, many actors make do with a quick camera interview and a couple of fawning fan sites.
To be fair, if it's merely film number 3 in a formulaic franchise, what more can they possibly tell us?
Meanwhile fellow well-known stars who might like to come to the screening are ignored in favour of the sort of the sort of personalities who would be rejected by Celebrity Big Brother for not being famous enough. Because, of course, no one is now allowed to outshine the cast.
And gone is the after-party. There, the film's unsung heroes (plus a few hacks) could let their hair down, while they watched A-listers indulge themselves at the free bar.
So The Inbetweeners – a British film, with a British cast, none of whom were too busy or too important to attend – was such a change. The stars spent their time talking to the mass of fans and press who had assembled, were paraded in front of the audience and then headed off to an after-party at which they were free to embarrass themselves.
It left me wondering: when's the sequel?
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