Coming a decade after Wiig and Mumolo’s Oscar-nominated screenplay for “Bridesmaids,” “Barb and Star” features Wiig and Mumolo playing best friends Star (Wiig) and Barb (Mumolo), beautiful ladies from Nebraska who live together afterward. their marriage ended. They decide to take a little trip, their very first. Naive and wide-eyed with childish glee, they make their way to a resort called Vista Del Mar in Florida, packing their hair curlers and culottes. (The panties play a huge role in the movie.) Once there, they meet and fall into insta-love / lust with Edgar Pagét (Jamie Dornan), the hottie sitting next to them at the bar. Edgar, however, is not who he claims to be. He’s in Vista Del Mar at the behest of his employer and (he hopes) his girlfriend, an evil spider woman who lives in a high-tech underground lair, dreaming of wiping Vista Del Mar off the map via a swarm. of mortals. mosquitoes.
Do you have it all? Otherwise, it doesn’t matter. What matters is the energy and confident propulsion of all the silliness, anchored by Wiig and Mumolo, whose characterizations can be broad caricatures but never empty. Wiig and Mumolo met years ago when they both performed at The Groundlings, Los Angeles’ legendary improv and sketch theater. You can see the basis of that work in their performances here, where they “riff” on each other, picking up internal clues, finishing each other’s sentences (sometimes incorrectly), and jumping into the breach of hard times with sometimes desperate babbling. . What they also manage to do, however, and this is crucial, is to convey a sense of the very real friendship between these two women. They lose their minds to Edgar in a very funny sequence where the three take to the dance floor for a re-mix of Celine Dion’s theme for “Titanic”, and there is some rivalry for her affection, but nothing like that. all this does not cause a breach in the friendship. Well, there is a breach, which then leads to a very funny nod to “Fatal Attraction”, but other than that the friendship is solid. It is refreshing.
A film like this needs its rhythm to be there. If there was dead air, it would sink. Greenbaum understands the importance of a well-placed cup (one cup in particular made me laugh out loud). Wiig and Mumolo are so compulsively observable, together and apart, that they keep it all in the air like a beach ball. The absurdity of the procedure is highlighted rather than underestimated. The two villains give long, pitying monologues as everyone just stands to listen, awkwardly looking at each other. All the hotel staff do a huge musical number welcoming Barb and Star to Vista Del Mar. Damon Wayans Jr. is very funny as the most incompetent secret agent that ever existed, revealing his real name and number. phone when he first interacted with Edgar, and then saying, “Damn, I wasn’t supposed to do this.” Jamie Dornan does an entire musical number on the beach, leaping into the sand, lip-syncing as he leans sadly against palm trees. It’s good to see Dornan relax, after his role as Christian Gray in the “Fifty Shades of Gray” franchise, or as a serial killer in “The Fall”. It’s funny to see him not take himself seriously, while also coming face to face with Wiig and Mumolo, who bring out all kinds of interesting “nuances” in his talent.