Written by: Lauryn Kahn
Starring: Gillian Jacobs, Vanessa Bayer, Phoebe Robinson, Michaela Watkins, Richard Madden
Life does not always provide plentiful opportunities to take what one wants, especially in the realm of finding someone special. Those major junctures really put things to the test of where priorities lie, like relationships and work as seen in the joyful Ibiza. Certainly not a new plot to behold but when anchored by two incredibly charming romantic leads, it becomes difficult to dislike.
Finally given the opportunity to prove herself at her place of employment, Harper (Gillian Jacobs) gets sent to Barcelona to land a large client for her public relations firm. While there, her two best friends take the opportunity to be with her when Harper sparks a connection with famous DJ Leo West (Richard Madden). As she seeks to pursue the spark between them, it begins to conflict with the primary reason she was sent to the Iberian peninsula.
Breaking down the plot of Ibiza certainly shows this story will not be something not seen in other features before. Harper, by no means, stands out as someone entirely unique but her relatability to others certainly makes this journey a good surrogate for the audience to enjoy the alcohol-soaked experience displayed in the feature. As someone who has let life essentially pass over her, this trip provides such a unique opportunity for her, which makes everything happening so exciting.
With Harper essentially playing the “straight man” character in the film, the zaniness gets tasked to her friends Nikki (Vanessa Bayer) and Leah (Phoebe Robinson). Essentially taking this work trip for Harper as an opportunity to have some fun on their own, they add pretty much all of the comedy this feature displays. They provide the overt reactions to the wacky things happening around them and essentially push the plot along by encouraging Harper to pursue Leo West rather than just doing what she was sent to Spain to do. Phoebe Robinson and Vanessa Bayer have always been comedic talents I have appreciated and they prove once again why they were brought into this feature. Carrying a level of manic energy in everything they do, they add plenty of momentum to the story and never let it fully slow down too much other than when their presence is no longer required when Harper interacts with Leo West.
It almost feels cliche to say Harper picks up a romantic attraction with a DJ when relatively near Ibiza with the reputation of this particular island. However, when you cast Richard Madden in this role, all can be forgiven because the man just knows how to be a charmer. After his acclaimed work in “Game of Thrones,” the man portrayed the most heartfelt turn as Prince Charming in Cinderella to dazzling results. The man can do no wrong and the aura he brings to this film helps elevate every scene he appears in. He creates great chemistry with Gillian Jacobs to sell why Harper would sacrifice everything just to get the chance to be with him. That really becomes the key to explaining the lengths she goes to. He undoubtedly proves to be worth it and his casting in this role worked like a charm.
Comedy comes in a decent supply outside of what the characters specifically do as these women get involved in gross-out situations, which is to be expected for this brand of comedy. Instances where bird excrement lands on people’s faces and they take drugs, which make them have silly episodes but it all comes with the experience of this trip for these characters. The film comes with a few laugh-out-loud moments, but it gets fairly spaced apart from instances where it barely causes a chuckle. Again, as with the plot, it does not definitively stand out as something wholly unique but it gets the job done.
Ibiza never truly dazzles like its nightlife but for some fun and brief entertainment, there are certainly worse options. The center of this story comes from the relationship Harper has with her friends, but the mainstay of the story comes from her interactions with Leo West. Richard Madden proves once again why this man can lead films if he actually gets the opportunity to do so as the lovely scenes he shares with Gillian Jacobs allows for all of the more average nonsense of the film to pass on by.