Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar review – Wiig and Mumolo laughing all the way to the beach

Bridesmaids co-writers Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo reunite as holidaying friends sucked into a hokey sci-fi conspiracy

Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo in Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar.
‘Effortless chemistry’: Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo in Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar. Photograph: Cate Cameron/Lionsgate
‘Effortless chemistry’: Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo in Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar. Photograph: Cate Cameron/Lionsgate
Simran Hans
Sun 14 Feb 2021 06.00 EST

This fun and diverting comedy from work wives Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo, who co-wrote 2011’s Bridesmaids, has a silly premise. After being made redundant, culotte-wearing besties Barb (Mumolo) and Star (Wiig) use their severance pay to escape their midwestern hometown for a holiday at the Palm Vista Hotel in Florida. It’s a “middle-aged paradise”, and so Edgar (Jamie Dornan), the young Irish heartthrob they meet at the bar, sticks out like a sore thumb. He’s there on business, involved in a sinister plot involving genetically modified mosquitos.

The sci-fi stuff is tedious, but Wiig and Mumolo are bawdy and brilliant as ever, their effortless chemistry bolstered by years of collaboration. As for Dornan, a notably sombre and wooden screen presence in the Fifty Shades of Grey movies, he is required to prance about a sandy beach, participate in several musical numbers and even shake a pair of maracas. He’s an interesting, amusing casting choice, genuinely endearing here as a supervillain’s accomplice and wannabe boyfriend. Comedy, it seems, is a less awkward fit.

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