Movie Review: Barb and Star Go To Vista Del Mar (2021)

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In the tradition of Naked Gun and Austin Powers, Josh Greenbaum’s Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar (B) is a delightfully daffy comedy written by and starring Annie Mumolo and Kristin Wiig as the titular characters, two best friends who leave their small town for a beachside vacation and find themselves embroiled in an absurd and often very funny spy plot. The central duo’s comic rhythm is on remarkable display as these sunshiny Midwesterners become up to their culottes in madcap adventures. A spry Jamie Dornan plays a romantic interest, plus Wiig is double cast as a vampy villain. Physical comedy and one-liners abound, and there are lots of esoteric references to please fans of Wiig’s wit. Greenbaum films the movie in lush tropical fever dream colors and with a loose and playful spirit allowing characters to break out into musical production numbers or have conversations with animals. Mostly this is a frothy celebration of female friendship and pretty entertaining for most of its duration. This is a go for broke, go with the flow escapade and a welcome retreat from the message movies of awards season. 

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