Barb & Star Go To Vista Del Mar: review – Wiig and Mumolo’s surreal masterpiece

Timing, apparently, is everything in comedy. So woolly hats off to the comic geniuses at Lionsgate for saving this torrent of sun-dappled silliness for the coldest weekend in lockdown.

Over the past year, I’ve heaped praise on hard-hitting documentaries and arty dramas. But secretly I’ve been pining for a bold studio to divert something big, brash and relentlessly daft to home streaming.

Since co-writing and co-staring in 2011's Bridesmaids, Mumolo and Wiig's comedy seems to have taken a surreal turn. There's a touch of The Marx Brothers, a hint of Airplane! and a dash of Vic and Bob to their gloriously unhinged follow-up about two pals who get caught in a Bond style crime plot while holidaying in Florida.

This one had me laughing from it's opening scene. I'm not entirely sure why watching a chubby, headphone-wearing paperboy lip-synching to Barbara Streisand left me so helpless, but hats off again to whoever discovered Hawaiian child actor Reyn Doi.

Doi pops up again at the end, busting some impressive moves in the dance-off than runs with the closing credits. What happens in between isn't massively important. Wiig and Mumolo (themselves lifelong friends) form a very funny double act as the chatty duo, but they save their best writing for surreal diversions and bizarre musical interludes.

Jamie Dornan puts in his funniest performance since the last Fifty Shades movie as a Edgar, a reluctant terrorist who falls for both Wiig's master criminal Sharon and her excitable cullottes-wearing tourist Star.

His inner-conflict is expressed in the film's funniest sequence, a deadpan montage to an auto-tuned, power ballad that boasts some of the most literal lyrics in musical history.

After this, wont ever be able to look at Morgan Freeman without thinking of a mournful crab or hear a lounge pianist without thinking of Mark Jonathan Davis's wildly inappropriate Richard Cheese.

His “I Love Boobies” has been submitted for an Oscar but I’m still humming the jaunty melody of "Several of my friends from high school have recently passed".

Hard times, but sometimes you just have to laugh.

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