REVIEW: Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar

I cannot believe this; I just reviewed Judas and the Black Messiah; a deeply harrowing, tense true-life story of the murder of a Black Panther Party leader. I gave it five stars.

And now I’m giving a film where a crab talks like Morgan Freeman another five stars. Please believe that I’m a respectable movie critic.

When I first saw the trailer for Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar, I was excited – it looked like a full-length SNL sketch, and I couldn’t wait to watch it. It featured Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo, who co-wrote it after writing Bridesmaids, starring as middle-aged life-long friend leaving their hometown for a vacation for the first time in their lives.

While I was excited, I was also nervous that it was going to be a one-note joke, laughing at having aching knees and liking to go to bed before 9PM, but then the film started and it was everything I could have possibly wanted. I was expecting a similar vibe to Bridesmaids, but it was totally different – not that I didn’t adore Bridesmaids, but… THIS FILM IS SO FUCKING BIZARRE AND SURREL AND FUNNY AS HELL. (Which is annoying, because I really need a negative review on my blog. I look like a pushover.)

I felt the trailer did this film an injustice, because you don’t realise how whacky the jokes in this will be. To just help you understand how silly this film is, there’s several musical numbers, including one where Jamie Dornan does the splits on the beach as he repeatedly sings how he’s like a cat climbing a tree, CGI mice which play violins, and Kristen Wiig playing a second character; an evil super villain, intent on seeking revenge on Florida, who also happens to be allergic to the sun.

But the real driving force is its to main stars, Wiig and Mumolo, who deliver joke-after-joke in their high, squeaky accents. It sounds like it could get annoying, but it doesn’t; the pair are just so likeable and charismatic that you go with it. Which is annoying, because I make joke-after-joke in my normal voice, and people just absolutely loathe me for that.

Naturally, this film won’t be for everyone; I can imagine my Mum tutting and sighing (and even threatening to launch her cuppa into the TV screen) with every ridiculous caricature, but I can easily see Barb & Star Go to Visit Del Mar becoming a cult-classic, especially amongst Saturday Night Live fans.

And even if you don’t trust what I say – and why would you? – just try Barb & Star. We’re all stuck indoors, and have been for a year; it’s bloody freezing outside and everyone we’re living with is driving us insane. This is a needed relief; almost as needed as the vaccine itself.

DISCLAIMER: Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar does not immunise you from COVID-19.

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