Completely crazy and utterly hilarious from start to finish, Barb & Star may just be the saving grace that we need this year.
Written by Becca Johnson
Fresh new comedy Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar tells the story of two best friends played by Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo, who decide to leave their hometown for the first time for a vacation after losing their jobs. However, they soon realise the holiday may not be as relaxing and fun as they hoped, as a villain plots to kill everyone in town.
Comedy is a massively over-saturated genre, meaning it can often feel formulaic and like we've seen it all before, but thankfully Barb and Star has a fresh and unique edge that is largely helped by the performances. Wiig and Mumolo have perfect chemistry and the most hysterical banter; at no point will you fail to believe they are the best of friends. Wiig also doubled up as villain Sharon Gordon Fisherman effortlessly, applying the comedy she does best to both roles. Jamie Dornan was a fun addition to the movie, and it was great to see him frolicking around the beach in a less serious role. He took to comedy like a duck to water, his song 'Edgar's Prayer' being one of the funniest and most stand-out scenes of the entire movie.
Barb and Star demands your attention as soon as you hit play and doesn't let your attention dip at any point, not only due to the performances but due to the way it makes you feel whilst watching. The movie boasts bright and eye-catching cinematography and a gorgeous setting that the audience can fully immerse itself into. For many viewers, a relaxing and idyllic holiday is further away than can be guessed, yet the movie manages to transport you to Vista Del Mar by creating a beautiful atmosphere; the costuming and set design all works a treat. The soundtrack only adds to the fun, featuring not only Jamie Dornan performing to a bunch of seagulls but a bouncy new rendition of My Heart Will Go On and a character frequently singing about how much he loves boobies. Every element comes together to create a crazily entertaining concoction.
It's safe to say that the comedy won't work for everyone. It definitely takes the silly approach, creating characters that are borderline annoying and featuring a wacky sci-fi revenge plot that doesn't always feel like it fits in. The script is full to the brim of cheesy one-liners, campy musical numbers and middle-aged jokes, yet it's so self aware and goofy that for the most part, it works. Those who can get on board with a script that is bizarre, quirky and utterly random will have a blast, but those who prefer a more traditional approach may not; it's far from a comedy that we've seen before.
To summarise, Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar is an effective, weird and wacky comedy that features great performances, a swoon-worthy setting and memorable musical numbers that already show attributes of a cult classic. However, it won't be everybody's cup of tea, and the addition of a villain who wants to murder an entire town of people doesn't always feel like the best and most fitting addition possible. That being said, it has undeniably achieved what it set out to achieve, and is perfect for 107 minutes of amusing escapism.