Parents' Guide to

Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Goofy female friendship comedy has sex, drugs, drinking.

Movie PG-13 2021 106 minutes
Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 2+

Based on 1 parent review

age 2+

Education for kids

Kids will learn so much for watching

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (5 ):

This movie is a fun watch-together pick for adult girlfriends; it's a safe bet that most men and teens aren't likely to appreciate it for all of its girly, goofy glory. Wiig and Mumolo affectionately parody "average American women," simultaneously making their characters the butt of the joke and lifting them up to be the hero that they truly are. While they don't always make the right choices, the pair clearly demonstrate traits that parents and caregivers want to instill in kids: kindness, forgiveness, positivity, and an appreciation for the little things in life. Both Barb and Star have hit rough patches -- unexpected divorce and unexpected unemployment -- but they bolster each other with unconditional encouragement and support. While the movie's premise is utterly ludicrous, the straight-faced jokes zip, dart, and zing like a high-scoring round of pinball.

Star is only a few degrees away from Wiig's infamous "Target lady" character from Saturday Night Live. But Wiig also plays villain Sharon Gordon Fisherman, a juicy, delicious, over-the-top femme fatale who plots to murder an entire town. She has a fictional skin pigmentation condition, which perpetuates the problematic choice to give villains (especially in comedies) disabilities. In this case, her condition makes her appear more sinister -- but also, it's clear, supposedly more laughable. Yes, it's a made-up disease, but it's quite reminiscent of albinism, an actual disorder that cinema almost exclusively associates with nefarious characters. At the same time, Sharon is full of self-confidence, spurning her handsome henchman Edgar's (Jamie Dornan) romantic overtures: It takes more than good looks to warm her cold heart. The ultimate redemption, though, is that Barb and Star's amazing friendship and positive attitude give the rest of us the warm fuzzies.

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