Review: Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar

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Directed by: Josh Greenbaum

Written by: Kristen Wiig & Annie Mumolo

Starring: Kristen Wiig, Annie Mumolo, Jamie Dornan, Damon Wayans Jr., Michael Hitchcock 

Rating: [3.5/5]

Being unapologetically weird does not happen as much as it should in feature films, because of the concern of how it will translate to others watching the movie. As an investor, I get it, but when something like Barb and Star Go To Visit Vista Del Mar gets released out into the world and its absurdity level of comedy, it should be celebrated and this film gives plenty to adore. 

After getting released from their job, Barb (Annie Mumolo) and Star (Kristen Wiig) decide to take a trip to a resort for some relaxation. As they try to experience everything the resort has to offer, they have no clue an evil ex-inhabitant of the area of the resort plots a massive revenge pot and sends her lover, Edgar (Jamie Dornan) to set things off. 

So many small and large aspects can be appreciated about Barb and Star Go To Visit Vista Del Mar, but the biggest one of them all comes from just how unflinchingly weird the story and all of the characters are to the point where it may not land well with everybody. The humor on display is so beyond ridiculous in every conceivable way but the manner of consistency ensures everything flows well together. Stitching out a scene from this film to show to someone else may heavily confuse them but put together into a fully-realized feature film demonstrates a level of chaotic brilliance on display. 

The success of this story comes from the stars, who also co-wrote the script, Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo. They conjure the level of absurdity this feature wants to communicate and they definitely succeed in doing so through their performances. Almost not real people in the way they talk to each other and how they see the world, their combination brings a level of sincerity in a world definitely not looking to hand it out. Bringing their almost violent level of kindness to confront the villains of this story never fails to make me laugh along with all of the smaller but equally enjoyable aspects. 

The resort this pair stays at has everything one could want from a dream vacation from beautiful waters, fun events, and the plot of an evil villain trying to kill everyone with mosquitos. Okay, I guess you can omit the last part but the level of enjoyment these two characters have at this resort along with the supremely bright colors all around them nearly makes a disorienting experience, especially when they hit the dance floor. It comes purely through their sincerity as characters where not a word out their mouths come with any level of condescension or malice, but merely exactly what they mean. It matches the atmosphere of the resort as it had over-the-top employees even including a musical number to introduce them to all of the benefits. Everything around them matches their intensity, especially when it comes to the supporting cast. 

If the films where he’s called Mr. Grey turned you off from Jamie Dornan, I highly suggest you give him another try because the lengths he goes in this film for our entertainment deserves immense respect. From dancing out in the sand, and naively being toyed around emotionally by the main villain of the piece, he represents the opposite of the horrid Mr. Grey. Instead, he gives such a charming performance that nearly steals the show right from under Mumolo and Wiig because of how he enters the fray and matches their unhinged energy to a deliciously fun degree. The same respect must go to Damon Wayans Jr. who enters the film as an assassin and everything he does here literally turns into gold. His efforts to be secretive in his approach and being equally being dopey really just takes the cake and while he does not stay in much of the runtime, he certainly leaves a distinctive mark. 

Truly a bundle of unflinchingly weird fun Barb and Star Go To Visit Vista Del Mar feels like a wholly unique experience in what it seeks to provide the audience and how it delivers on the promise. Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo deserve the entire world for crafting this wonderful little oddity along with director Josh Greenbaum as this little gem of a movie completely stands on its own with a level of comedy we certainly deserve, especially with the year the film saw its release and everything occurring. Hilariously a fun time with all involved shining bright.

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