Runtime: 1hr 47min of fun!
Director: Josh Greenbaum
Starring: Kristen Wiig, Annie Mumolo, Jamie Dornan, Vanessa Bayer, Phyllis Smith, Reyn Doi
By Peggy Marie
Prepare for fun cameos, unnecessary but much loved bouts of singing, and a very different tale of friendship with Director Josh Greenbaum’s wonderfully fun “Barb and Star Go To Vista Del Mar.” It’s a fun throwback to a kind of comedy that you don’t see much of anymore, a delightfully silly ode to friendship and surprisingly – to culottes. With hilarious one-liners sprinkled throughout this film, it’s true core is that while romances and spies can take center stage, Barb and Star really show how true friendship will never go out of style and age, well age can be just a number.
The storyline plot is simple, an evil woman and her sidekick are plotting to flood Vista Del Mar with murderous mosquitos and then comedy ensues. That’s honestly the set-up for this film so I didn’t want to beat around the bush when diving into this review. During the first scene, you’re clearly being asked to forget wherever you think this film might be about because it’s more ridiculous than you think. For this reason alone, you MUST continue watching because everything that follows is sheer crazy, silly, corny fun.
“It’s a fun throwback to a kind of comedy that you don’t see much of anymore, a delightfully silly ode to friendship and surprisingly – to culottes.”
We follow middle-aged best friends Barb (Annie Mumolo) and Star (Kristen Wiig) who visit Vista Del Mar, are the best of friends and seem all too content with their oh-so-talkative lives – sitting on the display couch in the department store they work in is a highlight of their day – well that and the ‘Talking Club’ they belong to that gives us some wonderfully obscure hilarious moments between Debbie (Vanessa Bayer) and Delores (Phyllis Smith) and let’s just say ‘hot dog soup’ is a highlight. So the notion of them going on holiday naturally already brings a plethora of comedic possibilities to the table – well that and the fact that said table materializes to musical numbers, a mass murder plot, and a love triangle involving charming undercover spy Edgar Paget (Jamie Dornan), only reiterates the absurd fun this film gives us, but it also showcases just how controlled a film it really is given the silliness of it all. As they encounter our charming undercover spy Edgar and unbeknownst to the women, he actually works for our villain Sharon Gordon Fisherman (also played by Wiig) whose plan is to murder all of Vista Del Mar.
The oodles of fun this movie brings us are just too many to mention, but highlights include: Yoyo (Reyn Doi) kid-villain extraordinaire opening with a lip-sync of “Guilty” by Barbra Streisand that will stick in your head for days, a packing of suitcases for the vacation, ‘Trish’, an absolute creation of a best friend of theirs that has a full life and death story to her, to the lounge pianist singing a song called “I love boobies”. Plus the cameos, oh the cameos, they are all over and one must keep an eye out for every single one of them.
One thing to be completely appreciated about “Barb and Star Go To Vista Del Mar” was that in an era when a lot of things feel designed by committee or a reboot of a reboot, it feels like a truly wacky idea that could only come from two friends being real screwball idiots together in real life and transferred to the big screen; just for the sheer pleasure of it all. The comedic chemistry is just fantastic and so much fun to watch.
So, with that a note to Barb and Star — I demand a sequel! So please pitch where they go or what they do next, as it was everything we all needed in life and by far the most I’ve personally laughed in a very long time. Do I want to go party with Barb and Starr and go everywhere with them? Yes, Yes I do and so should you.
Review screening: Courtesy of Ginsberg/Libby PR
“BARB AND STAR GO TO VISTA DEL MAR” IS NOW AVAILABLE ON VOD