Girlfriends Barb and Star came to the Florida town of Vista del Mar to relax and sunbathe, but instead found themselves embroiled in a plan to destroy the entire local population.
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There is such a category of movie characters – sketchy characters. From time to time they reach peaks of popularity, turning into the kind of our old friends: few people know, but Bruno, Ali G. and Borat themselves were once such personalities. It was probably these gentlemen, under the authorship of Sacha Baron Cohen, who created the fashion: the highest award such a hero could receive was his own movie. The era faded before it had even begun, but as soon as the screen comes out with any new, original comedy, these characters-sketchy immediately come to mind. We’ve seen it with “The Fire Saga Band Story,” and now it’s time for “Barb and the Star Goes to Vista del Mar.” This story is about a couple of forty-something bazaar chicks and is a full length non-existent sketch show: the film is vivid, absurdist, but still quite modest compared to other humorous examples of contemporary cinema.
Barb and Star are two ladies you probably know. There are similar types in any enterprise: sometimes, though, they evolve into women who look like blimps. They also treat work like a second home, because Barb is a widow and Star is divorced. Their conversations are something with something: an onslaught of banality. They will talk about all sorts of nonsense and not get tired of it! The prim and cautious women find themselves out of work due to the closing of a furniture store. Before looking for work, the ladies decide to relax on the Florida coast in a place called Vista del Mar… where, by the way, a mysterious supervillain is entrenched.
The ridiculous storyline and all the situations the main characters get into is enough. The story goes straight for broke, and the characters bear the burden of the bizarre plot. The problem is that the narrative here is emotionally weak. Yes, Barb and Star are unwittingly involved in the plot, but the characters are rather unconvincing. The real purpose of their screwballs seems to be to stretch screen time. The characters are laughable not because they are constantly getting into trouble, but rather because of their philistine lifestyles. It’s witty, but the creators haven’t struck the right balance, so when the script enters into a spy movie parody theme, the homemade humor finally bogs down and it’s time for a stunted action-adventure.
Certainly the film deserves points for originality and, although at times “Barb and the Star” lowers the bar with its skinny sexual humor and the way romance is presented, it’s still a pretty funny picture. At least the film’s most important moments are catchy, and the script avoids the rhythms of formulaic romantic comedy. Nevertheless, this interesting approach is trapped by its own conception: as characters, Barb and Star are more interesting than the circumstances in which they find themselves.
There is a sense of cartoonish unpredictability about the film: it is even surprising that “Barb and the Star” is not based on any pre-existing material. This keeps the film from becoming monotonous, but if you think about it, there is little imagination for the script here: except that the talking crab parodying the wise Morgan Freeman is something daring; the rest of the action moves by inertia. Perhaps best of all, “Barb and the Star Go to Vista del Mar” is characterized by a repeated joke about the culottes (as the opening plaque says, “a popular garment for women of a certain age”), which never really formed into anything coherent.
Codec: HEVC / H.265 (78.0 Mb/s)
Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)
HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
English: Dolby Digital 5.1
English: Dolby Digital 2.0
English SDH, Spanish.