Iain Morris still hasn’t grown up. The co-writer and producer of “The Inbetweeners” — a popular British sitcom and now film — admits he still relates, almost too well, with the fumbling, post-adolescent, pre-adult male characters he created.
“When you’re that age you’re supposed to be doing crazy things — drinking, getting girls, and you end up doing stupid things because you are pushing yourself to see what the boundaries of life are,” Morris says. “You end up being quite nice and quite stupid at the same time. That’s exactly what I was like. I still am. I wish I could say I was growing out of it, but not really.”
In “The Inbetweeners,” opening today, the sitcom’s four main characters — Will, Jay, Neil and Simon — head to Greece for their first parent-free holiday, a typical rite of passage for British teens.
“You first go when you’re 18 and you stop at 22 because you can’t face it anymore,” Morris says with a laugh.
“There are lots of spring break movies in the U.S., but there wasn’t anything reflecting that in the U.K.”
The boys are endearingly clueless and hell-bent on getting too drunk and hitting on girls, declaring themselves the “Pussay Patrol,” a title they emblazon on matching pink T-shirts.
After dumping their bags in their cheap, dubious, unhygienic hotel the awkward adventures begin. The film continues on the trajectory of the show, which incorporates many “firsts” into plotlines: first job, breakup, camping trip, etc.
Morris, a born and bred Londoner, now lives in Los Angeles, but visited his home turf during the Olympics, where he saw some events and watched the opening ceremonies stream live.
“I think for the first time in my life it made me proud to be British,” Morris says. “I think the closing ceremony, with the black cabs, Beckham and the Spice Girls, is what everyone thought the opening ceremonies were going to be. But what Danny Boyle did with the opening was mind-blowing, incredible and a brilliant reflection for modern Britain.”
Morris’ “Inbetweeners,” with its wry, unnervingly accurate portrayal of confused, contemporary youth, is also a reflection of modern Britain, and could, in time, go down in pop history as well as cult favorite “Fawlty Towers.”
“‘Fawlty Towers’ is still the greatest sitcom of all time,” Morris says. “There isn’t a bad episode out of the 12 they made, every single one is a classic.”
But Morris is quick to point out his affection for American humor.
“Sometimes in America you take for granted these brilliant sitcoms that you do have,” Morris says. “‘The Simpsons’ to me are a kind of work of art. It’s the sort of thing that if people dig it up in a thousand years, they’d be amazed.”