(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)
The Movie: Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar
Where You Can Stream It: Available on PVOD
The Pitch: Lifelong friends Barb and Star (Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig) embark on the adventure of a lifetime when they decide to leave their small Midwestern town for the first time ever and escape to the luscious paradise that is Vista Del Mar. But what starts as a getaway between two friends turns into a surprising love triangle full of espionage, betrayal, and plenty of seashells and culottes.
Why It’s Essential Viewing: It’s been a long time since there was an original comedy that was this kooky and confident at the same time. Studios simply don’t make comedies like this anymore, especially when they bring together the wacky spy antics of the Austin Powers franchise, the random nonsense of Hot Rod, and the fierce friendship of Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion. Combine that with the incredible chemistry of Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo as two quirky single ladies whose conversations never seem to have an endpoint, and you’ve got this silly, magical, comedic wonder.
Let me first say, if you don’t really know anything about Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar, you should go in as blind as possible. Just have Barb and Star take the wheel and steer you on one of the wackiest comedies of the 21st century. Honestly, if someone tried to tell you the actual plot of the movie, you’d probably roll your eyes and move on to the next. But that’s part of the fun. The movie is nonsense of the highest order, but it’s packed with so much earnest energy and heart that it has a zany charm to it that can be difficult to land firmly. But the movie lands as gracefully as Barb and Star in their signature culottes.
One of the surprising draws of Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar is Jamie Dornan. The Fifty Shades of Grey franchise star seems to have had a difficult time steering away from the fame that came from the erotic romance adaptations, but his role here totally shatters that image. You’ve never seen Dornan like this. It’s the kind of turn that Channing Tatum made in 21 Jump Street, and you’ll be shocked when Dornan breaks out into his own musical number. It’s a real titflapper (you’ll appreciate that more after you see the movie).
Some of you out there aren’t going to like this movie, and that’s fine. Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar has a sense of humor that isn’t for everybody. There are plenty who will see this movie as just plain stupid, which, again, is fine. At the very least, if you end up not enjoying this delightfully outlandish comedy, you’ll have learned a little something about yourself and your movie tastes. What you might learn is that you hate the joy that comes from laughter. But as someone who is currently going through one of the worst personal experiences of his life, if this movie can make me forget about the pain for an hour and 45 minutes, then it should give you some hearty laughs.
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/Film – ‘Slash Film: The Quarantine Stream: ‘Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar’ is an Absurdly Goofy Laugh Riot’
Author: Ethan Anderton
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February 18, 2021