Barb and Star is a film I’d paid absolutely no attention to as I scrolled through the VoD selection over the past few days. Honestly, I think I saw the off-putting title – totally bypassing the fact it had cool people like Kristen Wiig (who I didn’t at first recognise) in it – and thought I’d save my £13 for something worth an evening of my lockdown time. However, when Guillermo del Toro waxed lyrical about it on Twitter I quickly changed my tune, bucked up my ideas and sat down with the better half to watch it.
Straight off the bat, GDT seemingly enjoyed this one more than me – and a lot more than my wife who looked upon it with the type of disgust she reserves for when I try and make her watch horror films. However, that’s not to say I hated – in fact, there’s moments that had me in stitches.
It’s a Kristen Wiig-Annie Mumolo double-team as ditzy, middle aged BFFs who hit the Florida coast whose partnership ranges from quirky and mildly amusing quips to mildly annoying and, sometimes, deeply unfunny anecdotes about turtles. Oh man, this film swings all over the place in regards to hitting your funny bones and it’s when the film is at its most random and zaniest – moving away from the bumbling double act – the film is at its best.
I legitimately nearly wet myself in surprise and laughter at a very unexpected musical scene in a bar that involves a part of the female anatomy, whilst musical numbers are sporadically intertwined throughout to various degrees of success. There’s also one or two supporting/cameo appearances that’ll bring a smile to your face. However, the Austin Powers shtick they had going on was increasingly eye-rolling and plainfully unfunny.
This is weird, this is random and it won’t be to everyone’s taste – but whether you like it or not, Barb and Star won’t leave you bored.