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Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar: A Wonderful Comedy That You Should Watch

May 14, 2021

Quick Thoughts: Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar is wonderful. It’s inventive, daring and beautifully odd. Writers/stars Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo have created a cult classic that hopefully will amass a large following. Also, I really hope that it somehow, someway, gets nominated for about 40 Academy Awards (they can make up the awards, it’s cool). It deserves it. 

The Josh Greenbaum directed Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar tells the story of a likable duo named Barb (Annie Mumolo) and Star (Kristen Wiig) who travel to Vista Del Mar, Florida after they lose their jobs at the hottest spot in their town (Jennifer’s Convertibles) of Soft Rock, Nebraska. The two roommates, who are either divorced or widowed (Barb’s husband was trampled to death during a Black Friday melee), end up staying at the Vista Del Mar Hotel, a sun-drenched resort full of swinging couples, talking crabs, and gigantic alcoholic beverages that lead to wild nights. 

Unbeknownst to them, they put themselves into the crosshairs of the Bond-esque villain Sharon Gordon Fisherman (Kristen Wiig again) and her henchman Yo-Yo (Reyn Doi), after Star falls in love with Edgar Pagét (Jamie Dornan), one of Sharon Gordon Fisherman’s henchmen, who really wants to be in an “official” relationship with characters played by Kristen Wiig. The relationship could be a problem, as Sharon Gordon Fisherman (I have to write the full name every time, it’s wonderful), plans to kill thousands during an annual festival, and she needs Edgar (or Edgarrr) to be the person who places a beacon on the main stage that will draw thousands of deadly mosquitos to the festival. It would be a disservice to reveal more, so, just know that the rest of the movie features terrible spies named Darlie Bunkle (Damon Wayans Jr.), jet ski chases, banana boats, Tommy Bahama, and magical culottes.

Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar is a breath of fresh air, as it’s never mean, and it’s wholly unique. Kristen Wiig pitched it as “Airplane meets Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion,” and that’s pretty much what you get. There are memorable quotes, costumes, and characters who make the 107-minute running time fly by, and the gag reel that plays over the credits is a joy. If you get a chance, pick up the Blu-ray and check out all the extras and commentaries. The commentary with Wiig, Mumolo and Greenbaum is fun and insightful, and it showcases the chemistry between the filmmakers. 

Final thoughts: Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar is the “Trish” of movies. Watch it, buy it, tell people about it.

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