Thursday, February 11, 2021

Barb and Star Go To Vista Del Mar Review: The Buddy Comedy Film Gets Its Groove Back

Release date: February 12, 2021
Running time: 107 minutes
Starring: Kristen Wiig, Annie Mumolo, Jamie Dornan, Damon Wayans  Jr., Fortune Feimster, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Rose Abdoo, Vanessa Bayer, Phyllis Smith, Kwame Patterson 
Directed by: Josh Greenbaum
Written by: Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig

Take a trip and break out of your shell with Barb and Star.  From the gals who brought you Bridesmaids (co-stars and co-writers Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo) comes BARB & STAR GO TO VISTA DEL MAR. Lifelong friends Barb and Star embark on the adventure of a lifetime when they decide to leave their small Midwestern town for the first time…ever. Romance, friendship and a villain’s evil plot . . . . Hold onto your culottes!  

Barb and Star is just the right level of ridiculousness.  It feels very much like the buddy comedy movies from the early 2000s, where Will Ferrell and another funny comic would create a ridiculous situation and pile on tangents, improvised jokes, and additional chaos in a loosely tied together plot.  And by golly, I loved those movies and I loved this one as well.  So pull on your culottes, pack your favorite wrap, and get ready for some fun (and craziness) in the sun.  Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo have a great on screen chemistry.  The two completely transform for this role into midwestern divorcees hoping to have an exciting trip to Vista Del Mar.  They are almost unrecognizable in their mannerisms and style, but they have so much fun together.  But what starts off as a hopeful trip turns into something more when . . . well the plot doesn't make much sense but it sure is entertaining.

And like the buddy comedies of the 2000s, Barb and Star go on ridiculous tangents during their adventure.  And some of those silly asides work their way back into the movie, which is a wonderful little touch for those paying attention.  And on top of Wiig and Mumolo's characters, the film just has a beautiful, bright style that will put a smile on your face.  From pastel colors, to classic movies and music references, to the overall joy that these two characters take in experiencing life, everything about this film will put a smile on your face.  It just is the right level of ridiculousness the world needs right now.  And along that line, the film has some perfectly silly musical numbers that are as random as the movie itself, but were a pleasant surprise in a string of pleasant surprises. 

Just be warned that this type of humor will not be for everyone.  If you don't like a fast-paced, completely random humor you might not enjoy this film.  But even if it is not for you, it will be tough not to laugh at some of the jokes; there are so many of them!  Additionally, the plot doesn't really make much sense and when some of the backstory is filled in, it just doesn't seem that weighty.  But the story is not really the important part of this film.  It is the characters, the overall silliness, and the general feel of the film that makes this such a fun visit to Vista Del Mar.  And if that's not enough for you, the cameos will place it over the top.  There are several comics and actors, past and present, that help add some additional life to this already bright world.  The film really feels like a passion project and the brainchild of the two stars.  

Barb and Star Go To Vista Del Mar is the type of laugh-out-loud ridiculousness we need right now, with fantastic characters and a bright style to help jump start your 2021. 

Watch it.

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Barb and Star Go To Vista Del Mar is available digitally on February 12, 2021.

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