“Barb And Star Go To Vista Del Mar is a light-hearted and heart-felt comedy that the world needs right now.”
The incredible writing duo that gave the world the hit comedy film Bridesmaids (Kristin Wiig and Annie Mumolo) have teamed up again for a brand new comedy of epic proportions with Barb And Star Go To Vista Del Mar. If it’s one thing these two women know well – it’s friendship, which is evident in Bridesmaids, as well as this new movie about two childhood best friends Barb and Star (Mumolo and Wiig), who leave their small town for the first time and descend upon the glorious beaches of Vista Del Mar, Florida. While there, they learn new things about each other, themselves, find love, go out on wild excursions, and somehow manage to cross paths with a sinister villain who wants to murder everyone on the island. Most of all, this film is a ton of fun and everyone can see just how infectious Wiig and Mumolo are as real-life friends as they are in this whacky comedy.
Wiig and Mumolo began writing this screenplay and characters years ago and found Josh Greenbaum to direct the film in what turns out to be a kitchen sink of comedy. Barb And Star Go To Vista Del Mar is like if an early Adam Sandler comedy mixed with Austin Powers with two women who are stuck a couple of decades behind everyone else. Barb and Star have been childhood friends and somehow have managed to become both single ladies in their 40s, living together and working at the same retail furniture outlet. These two gals are inseparable and do everything together. After a brush with a friend in town, they are convinced to finally take a vacation to Vista Del Mar, Florida, where it’s fruity drinks, water sports, plentiful sunshine to match their personalities, and even a treasure trove of men at their disposal.
Meanwhile, in an underground lair, lives an albino woman (also played by Wiig), who is hellbent on killing everyone on Vista Del Mar due to a grudge from many years ago. This has all the similarities and comedic elements of Austin Powers’ nemesis Dr. Evil, and it’s played out wonderfully here with a fresh, yet nostalgic take. This villain has handsome henchmen, one of them being Edgar (Jamie Dornan of 50 Shades Of Grey), who is having a ball in this role, singing, dancing, and talking to seagulls throughout the film. As the film progresses, so do the silly and cartoony antics of these two best friends in the vein of visual effects, talking crabs, musical numbers, and hilarious edits and sound effects that complete the checklist of funny, creative essentials to a film.
At the true core of Barb And Star Go To Vista Del Mar is friendship, and how to maintain that relationship with those you care about most, along with being open to being friends with anyone. It’s a great message that takes its usual twists and turns throughout the story, but it feels fresh and wonderfully funny. In a Napoleon Dynamite sort of way, these two women have not grown with the world around them, as they don’t carry any sort of new technology and dress to the nines if it were thirty-plus years ago. it’s just another one of the likable traits to these two new characters, who might have just found themselves in an upcoming franchise of films.
The movie is very self-aware and has no problem one-upping itself with how silly and truly entertaining it can be. Wiig and Mumolo just have the best chemistry on screen and it shines over everything else, however, Dornan, Damon Wayans Jr., and a funny-as-hell cameo from Andy Garcia are fantastic as well. The musical numbers are hilarious and remarkably choreographed (again, much like Austin Powers was), and the visual component of being set along a tropical paradise is very appealing and pretty. Barb And Star Go To Vista Del Mar is a light-hearted and heart-felt comedy that the world needs right now.
Written by: Bryan Kluger