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Review: Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar (2021)

The most hilarious hour and 45 minutes I’ve had all year!

When it was originally scheduled for a 2020 release, I had Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar (2021) pegged as one of the movies I was most looking forward to seeing last year. Even as the release date kept getting pushed back, I remained waiting with eager anticipation. How could I not? It stars and is written by Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo, the duo behind the mega-hit, Bridesmaids (2011), it’s a wonderfully wacky premise, and I’m always a fan of when comedy and crime come crashing together. It gives me immense pleasure to report that Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar was more than worth the wait. Holy shit, I had a blast watching this movie.

Credit: / Lionsgate

Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar tells the story of the titular characters, a pair of inseparable, middle-aged best friends who decide to get out of their small town and go on a week-long vacation to Vista Del Mar, a popular tourist destination in Florida. Looking for a little excitement in their lives, the pair get more than they bargained for when they accidentally become entangled in a sinister villain’s plan for revenge.

So, the movie starts and no joke, it’s not even three minutes in and I’m already laughing. Look, if you start your movie with the Oxford English Dictionary definition of the word “culottes,” you’ve got me hooked. Right away Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar establishes a brilliantly bizarre tone that it not only carries the whole way through, but will have you thoroughly entertained from start to finish. In some ways, Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar feels like a callback to comedy movies from the 1990s. It’s unafraid to be completely cuckoo. Tone-wise, this movie gives off a very strong Dumb and Dumber (1994) meets Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion (1997) meets Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997) vibe. That may sound like it would be a confused clusterfuck of ideas, but I assure you it’s the farthest thing from. Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar masterfully lifts the silliness, the friendship, the spy hijjnks, and overall inherent wackiness of those movies and crafts an original story that is an honest-to-goodness laugh riot to sit through. I mean, there’s gut-busting comedy, endearing relationships, wide-spread attempted murder, and deliciously tacky resort-wear. What more do you need from a movie?

Credit: / Lionsgate

As Barb and Star respectively, Mumolo and Wiig’s chemistry is perhaps the most impressive and enjoyable aspect of this wildly entertaining movie. It’s so on point. The depth of their partnership both as actors and comedy writers shines through clear as crystal in each of the many scenes the pair share. Each one seems to know exactly how to react to the other to ensure the best possible delivery of a joke, or exactly what type of absurd physical reaction will elicit the biggest laughs. It’s as though Mumolo and Wiig share one comedic mind. Seeing these two friends have a blast making this ridiculously zany movie together just adds an extra layer of enjoyment to watching Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar. They’re lovably loony and delightful dingbats and I think I can safely say that we should all be so lucky to have friends like Barb and Star.

The supporting cast boasts a ton of charming and comedically dependable actors like, Vanessa Bayer, Wendi McLendon-Covey, and Damon Wayans Jr., all of whom will have you in stitches even though they only appear for brief scenes at a time. Seriously, the comedic talent that was assembled for this movie is on an entirely different level. Oh! Speaking of leaving you in stitches, Jamie Dornan is a surprisingly major source of the hilarity in this movie. Hollywood, I have a PSA for you:  Let Jamie Dornan be in more comedies! As Edgar, the henchman to the villainous Sharon Gordon Fisherman, Dornan is a major scene-stealer. I was not expecting him to be as fall-down funny as he ended up being! Dornan adapts to the bananas tone of Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar, flexing his comedic muscles just as flawlessly as he does his actual muscles. I love that this movie gives Dornan free reign to showcase all of his hidden talents. He even gets to perform a synth-pop love ballad! If there’s one thing I love, it’s an impromptu musical number in a non-musical movie. I’d expect nothing less from this movie. With Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar, it’s one quirky surprise after another.

Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar is pure madness. It’s a colourful and energetic piece of entertainment that is balls to the wall bonkers. It’s so silly and stupid in the best, smartest, most enjoyable way possible. It’s like a great Saturday Night Live (1975 – present) sketch, one that instantly boosts the energy of the audience. Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar is a movie that oozes light, sweet, fun that’s also raunchy and wild. I feel like I haven’t seen a movie as simply sensational as this in a very long time. Honestly, it’s a welcome breathe of fresh air. If this is the type of dazzling quality Wiig and Mumolo produce every time they team up to write a comedy, I’m more than content with waiting another 10 years for their next project!

Credit: / Lionsgate

I never wanted Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar to end. Truly. Even as I knew the end was approaching, I hoped against hope that there was an extra 10 minutes of footage. I sincerely smiled the whole way through this movie and I strongly encourage you all to see it for yourselves. For so many reasons, it’s the exact type of movie we all need in our lives, now more than ever. Not only will you have so much fun, but you’ll be inspired to try a few new drink recipes. I’m just saying, Suicides and Buried Treasures are now my official drinks of 2021.

Have you seen Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar?

Let me know in the comments or on social media!

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