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YMMV / Absolute Beginners

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  • Audience-Alienating Premise: Anyone not familiar with late-1950s British socio-politics, the rise of far-right and neo-fascist political movements post-WW2, and the nuances of "Ted", "Mod", and "Hipster" subcultures and their influence on British music and broader popular culture is bound to be confused.
  • Awesome Music: Some great music by David Bowie (the title song, "That's Motivation"), Sade ("Killer Blow"), and Ray Davies ("Quiet Life"), among others. The dancing's pretty cool too.
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  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Arguably "That's Motivation". It's bizarre even by this film's standards because it's a Disney Acid Sequence that's way over the top and comes out of nowhere. Though it's a Villain Recruitment Song that temporarily works on Colin, by that point in the movie he's already well on the road to selling out — the number that precedes it is even called "Selling Out" — so it isn't vital to the storyline. Moreover, though Vendice Partners turns out to have been one of the hands in the Evil Scheme, save for a glimpse of him shortly before the climax he disappears for the rest of the movie (resulting in What Happened to the Mouse?).
  • Narm: Falls victim to this nearly every time the film gets serious. Highlights include Colin's drug-addled lipsyncing at Dido Lament's party, Flicker singing "Teddy Bear's Picnic" menacingly while he waves a knife around, a witch-doctor calling down a lightning bolt on some thugs at the White City race riot (a real event that caused very real devastation) and any scene with Steven Berkoff's weird Hitler-like character.
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  • One-Scene Wonder: Most of the film's most memorable characters, played by recognizable celebrities to boot, only appear for one or two brief scenes.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Fans of the novel - which was to England in The ’50s what The Catcher in the Rye was to America during that same time - were unhappy in how the novel was changed.

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