• Gareth Bradwick

Barb & Star go to Vista Del Mar ★★

Josh Greenbaum

Starring Kristen Wiig, Annie Mumolo, Jamie Dornan, Damon Wayans Jr, Vanessa Bayer

As we sit on the sofa and pay a premium, at the back end of what has been a pretty bleak winter by all accounts, we can hopefully be forgiven for not being in the right mood to enjoy a wacky summer comedy in the same way as we would have had there been a large audience, and that large popcorn and coke you thought was a good idea by your side.


That's not to say there aren't any laughs on offer in Barb & Star go to Vista Del Mar. The plot itself doesn't really matter, as Barb and Star is a vehicle for random gags and silly set ups. If you have seen an American comedy in the last decade, you will be used to the half-improvised feel of the dialogue on offer here. Kristen Wiig (Star) and Annie Mumolo (Barb), who also wrote the film, do a great job with the comedy, but the characters aren't enough to withstand a 107-minute study.


To add another dimension, they also included Jamie Dornan who does a surprisingly good job with the musical number (yes, the musical number). However there is a sense that he's just there for the ride and isn't committed to the random plot as Wiig and Mumolo are.


Whereas Bridesmaids was original and had some emotional bite, things are lighter for this movie, both in emotion and in laughs-per-minute. Barb & Star will be brilliantly conceived and hilarious to some viewers, annoying and one-dimensional to others. This is a marmite movie if ever you've known one and it seems to depend on whether you are watching alone on a cold winter's night or with friends in early summer because the style is full of colour and completely ridiculous moments (a cameo crab was an absolute highlight).


So please, do us a huge favour and wait until this is free to view. Watch it with friends, with beer and with sunshine and you will enjoy it and quote from it long after.


Barb & Star go to Vista Del Mar available now on PVOD

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