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Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar

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It's light fare, silly overall, but a relief from our gloomy winter, pandemic, and post-Trump days.

Barb and Star go to Vista Del Mar

A dear friend and I needed a respite from the claustrophobia and paranoia of the pandemic, so we watched Barb and Star  Go to Vista Del Mar (Prime), a comedic confection about two live-wire ladies vacationing in Florida. Absurd it is, but not Samuel Beckett absurd, more Austin Powers or the Step Brothers silly. A relief from contemporary burdens it is even though it is not great filmmaking.

Barb (Annie Mumolo) and Star (Kristen Wiig) eventually end up at Vista Del Mar on the coast, a garishly-colored, phrenetic resort specially tuned to bored middle-aged women susceptible to scruffily-bearded young slackers looking for targets. In the current case for the girls, activities director Edgar (Jamie Dornan) satisfies their latent desires and provides a much-needed intrigue for a plot heavy on light interludes and light on emotional depth.

As in most light satires, a mean villain is required, a virtue here with Wiig also playing wicked Sharon Gordon Fisherman. Her plot importance is negligible although Sharon does her best to imitate Tilda Swinton at her white-haired, scary best.

Crabs that give advice and culottes that save lives—Barb and Star Go to  Vista del Mar is rich with lowbrow comedy.  The screenplay is so rapid-fire and discursive, I will send you to see this manic farce to lighten your day while you’re lightly enlightened. It’s messy farce of joyful energy to contrast with our current gloom.  On Prime.

Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar

Director: Josh Greenbaum

Screenplay: Annie Mumolo (Bridesmaids), Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids)

Cast: Wiig (The Skeleton Twins), Mumolo (Bad Moms)

Run Time: 1h 47m

Rating: PG-13

John DeSando, a Los Angeles Press Club first-place winner for National Entertainment Journalism, is host of WCBE's programs It's Movie Time and Cinema Classics, and the podcasts Back Talk and Double Take. Contact him at johndesando52@gmail.com.