I am not even sure where to start with Barb & Star Go To Vista Del Mar. What can you say about a movie that looks like it was written by two best friends while full of wine and edibles? While that might sound like a criticism, I can assure you it is not. If you go in with your expectations properly calibrated, Barb & Star is a whole lot of fun.
The movie begins with Barb (Annie Mumolo) and Star (Kristen Wiig) getting kicked out of their “Talking Club”—a group of friends who get together to discuss a particular topic under a strict set of rules—and losing their beloved job at Jennifer Convertibles. On the suggestion of their friend Mickey (Wendi McLendon-Covey), the pair of best friends decide to get a “soul douche” by visiting Vista Del Mar. The Florida beach resort caters to gals of a certain age, and Barb and Star don their best culottes and set out to make the most of it.
After meeting the mysterious Edgar (Jamie Dornan) in the hotel bar, the bonds of lifelong friendship are tested after a drunken and pill-fueled night. At this point, the vacations diverge in two different directions, all while a sub-plot of revenge that could destroy Vista Del Mar happens around them.
Mumolo and Wiig hold nothing back as Barb and Star. The dated hair, ridiculous voices, and silly outfits that comprise their characters do some of the work, but both actors completely throw themselves into the roles. The biggest surprise, however, is watching Dornan pirouette in the sand while singing about seagulls. While not known for comedic roles, he more than holds his own. In fact, it looks like everyone was giving their all to this movie and having the time of their life doing it.
The Austin Powers-esque revenge subplot provided the weakest moments in the film. Things go from silly to overly ridiculous quickly during that storyline. Luckily the movie does not spend so much time on revenge—even though it does provide the main action in the third act—that it takes away from the heart of the film. Barb and Star’s friendship, along with the wrench their new friend Edgar throws in the mix, forms the core.
It comes as no surprise that Wiig and Mumolo, who co-wrote the screenplay, have over a decade of friendship. Barb & Star feels like the kind of collaboration that can only come from two writers who have perfectly synced comedic sensibilities built over the course of many years. Director Josh Greenbaum handles the potentially unwieldy film they have written with a confidence that belies this being his first scripted feature film.
Barb & Star knows exactly what it is and it makes no attempt to be anything else. The unabashed silliness made me laugh more than I thought I would. It also made me desperate for a trip with friends, something I have missed terribly over the last year. There are plenty of awards-season-style-serious films out there right now. Barb & Star only wants to entertain. It is pure fluff. Call it a soul douche, if you will.
You can stream Barb & Star Go To Vista Del Mar on February 12, 2021 everywhere you rent movies.
About Barb & Star Go To Vista Del Mar
Runtime: 1h 46m
Rating: PG-13 for crude sexual content, drug use and some strong language
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 & STAR debuts in your home on February 12th!