Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar [Grade: D+]

Director: Josh Greenbaum

Cast: Kristen Wiig, Annie Mumolo, Jamie Dornan, Reyn Doi, Damon Wayans Jr, Wendi McLendon-Covey

* * *

Last year during one of my last times in a movie theater before Covid took over, the sound of Madonna’s “Holiday” came through the theater speakers as a preview displaying two middle aged white women rocking these 80s, short DIY feathered cuts, rocking their heads from side to side. Then a familiar face came across the screen—Kristen Wiig. I love Kristen Wiig. I find her to be effortlessly hilarious. So, I was immediately amp’d to see this film titled #BarbAndStarGoToVistaDelMar. 

From the preview, I was excited about seeing the casual and mundane hilarity Kristen Wiig was going to give to what seemed to be centered on the lives of 2 middle aged white women. Was it going to be Bridesmaids meets Romy and Michelle meets Mary and Rhoda? Was it going to be Frankie and Grace meets Bridesmaids meets The Hangover? Both of these mash-ups sound absolutely amazing, and with Kristen being involved, I felt confident. 

Then I watched it… and was disappointed. And then upset that it cost me 20.00. This is the third time that a film has drawn me in based on key names, only to provide some experimental or lackluster plot (first was #LikeABoss, then #Bliss…). 

* * *

Below are my grades for key components in #BarbAndStarGoToVistaDelMar that I find to be key in any story/film—Theme, Plot, Pacing, and Character Arc/Development. I think it is also important for me to add that moving forward, I will not include a plus-rating in my breakdown, but will continue with minus-ratings.

Additionally, I have added an entertainment factor scale to help you determine whether or not the film is something you’d be interested in taking time out of your weekend, evening, or day to watch. The scale range consists of: Worth the Watch, Interesting Enough (if looking for something new to start), & Don’t Rush.

I have also added a few non-spoiling thoughts, wonderings, and comments as I watched the film to help give some rationale for my grades and entertainment scale. 

* * *

Theme: C 

Plot: D

Pacing: C-

Character Arc/Development: D

Entertainment Factor: Don’t Rush

* * *

Takeaways: 

1. Firstly, I just want to say that I didn’t realize how much I love Wendi McLendon-Covey! She is such a staple depiction of the range of white wives in comedies. Whenever I see her face, I just know the film is going to be a good time. ❤️

2. And…to piggyback off of point #1, the film is a “fun/good time…” at least the elements of the film with Kristen and Annie. It’s colorful, and does remind you of the crazy antics that many of us allow ourselves to get into when we decide to “get away” for some vacation time. 👍🏾

3. What dragged the film, was side story…it was extremely childish and totally left field. It just took away from everything else this film could have provided with our two main ladies. 🤦🏾‍♂️🤦🏾‍♂️

4. I am not sure about anyone else, but I also found it difficult to “laugh.” Things weren’t funny to me. They were cute, but the comedy felt forced. 🥴🤷🏾‍♂️

5. Baby…Damon Wayans, Jr is so beautiful. 😍

6. I actually liked Reyn Doi…he was adorable… 👍🏾

7. However, to point #6, I think his character would have been even more lovable had there not been this side story, and he was able to actually interact with Kristen and Annie more. 🤷🏾‍♂️

8. There was a lot of potential with the “Talk Club…” it just missed the mark somewhere.🥴

9. Chile…the crab!? Really? 🤦🏾‍♂️

10. When they all woke up after the “buried treasure…” I was like, “Oh shyt, wait a min now, ‘friendship’… …” That’s an interesting visual… 🤣

11. I wish there was more background to the conflict / suppressed aspects of their friendship to help drive the theme a little more. There were moments here and there that were sprinkled throughout the film through a statement or 2 that alluded to these possible flags, but they weren’t enough to really help fuel the climax and rising action in order to support the resolution for me. 🤷🏾‍♂️

12. And to piggyback off of point #4, even the “culottes” didn’t land…🤦🏾‍♂️👎🏾

13. Did I miss something? Where this idea of “shimmer” come from?🤨🤔

14. The piano singer… he was interesting… I think had the rest of the movie not been as unfortunate, I would’ve been able to receive his contribution better. 🤷🏾‍♂️

* * *

Overall, #BarbAndStarGoToVistaDelMar is low-key, a little dumb. And honestly, I felt like I was taken advantage of as a movie viewer/goer because it just feels like a bunch of rich, [white] folks got together and decided to do random silly shyt to humor themselves, and passed it off as a film. 

This film could’ve been redeemable had it played more into the side story with a middle aged white woman component to it (i.e. fully immersing itself with a creative and clever Austin Powers-esque concept) that hinted towards a sequel to a possible series. 

But I still love Kristen Wiig… I just won’t be answering her calls and returning her text messages for a few days because she hurt my feelings, and I need time to heal… LOL

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