A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Ibiza is a 2018 raunchy "lost weekend" romcom in which Gillian Jacobs plays a New York publicist who cuts loose on a business trip in Spain and falls for a DJ. There's frequent profanity ("f--k" in particular), drug and alcohol abuse, talk of sex, sex acts, nudity, sexual situations, and an over-the-top scene in which one of the lead characters turns on the black light on her smartphone to reveal all the sperm stains covering just about everything in their hotel room. The lead character meets her DJ love interest when he helps her remove a large penis that someone had drawn on the side of her face while at a dance party. The young woman who gives the lead characters a ride to the nightclub drives blindfolded while high on cocaine and marijuana. One of the lead characters, after buying Adderall from a drug dealer at a party, ends up in a fitness room, riding an elliptical machine until she passes out. Overall, it's a raunchy sex comedy in the tradition of The Hangover and similar movies combined with the awkward interactions of the love interests in a romcom -- but the raunch is far more prevalent, making this only for mature older teens and up.
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What's the story?
Harper (Gillian Jacobs) plays a 30-something stressed-out New York low-level publicist toiling under a demanding and seemingly unstable boss (Michaela Watkins). When Harper is sent on a work trip to Spain to land a sangria account, her best friends Nikki (Vanessa Bayer) and Leah (Pheobe Robinson) convince Harper to bring them along by converting her first-class ticket into three coach tickets. Harper does this, and the women land in Barcelona, where they get drunk and high, sunbathe on a nude beach, then go to a rave. It's at the rave where Harper first meets Leo West, a world-famous DJ. While both awkward, the two hit it off, and so the ladies decide to follow Leo to his next gig -- at a rave in IBIZA. Arriving on Ibiza, Harper, Nikki, and Leah must not only find a way to get to the club where Leo is performing but also make sure that Harper makes her flight the next morning to get back to Barcelona to attend the meeting with the sangria reps. After spending an unforgettable night with Leo, Harper must decide if she wants to continue grinding out a living for her tyrannical boss or use this weekend as a way to make a new start in love and life.
Is it any good?
Ibiza is proof positive that the "lost weekend" movies have become a trite formula. In these movies, amid beautiful scenery and endearing and/or violent locals, there's always the quirky off-kilter character whose eccentricity manifests itself through odd one-liners, the character whose sole motivation is the attainment of casual sex, and then the relatively normal, dry-humored cynic who has grown weary and neurotic from too many failed relationships. These characters are set loose in these unfamiliar habitats to get into weird trouble resulting in at least one gross-out scene. They ingest various intoxicants in liquid, pill, and powder form, make bad decisions, get into awkward sexcapades, then somehow by the skin of their teeth make it back to the States, where the bond of their friendship has grown even stronger.
That said, the enjoyment one derives from Ibiza is inevitably dependent on whether or not the audience has grown tired of this formula. It's a decent movie in terms of the acting; Gillian Jacobs basically brings her character Mickey from the Netflix show Love to this movie. But the romcom aspect comes off as a little too forced and a little too convenient. Overall, it's a tired premise that we've seen before; older teens and adults can find better.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about "lost weekend" comedies in which characters cut loose from the stress and tedium of their day-to-day lives and engage in hedonistic acts they normally wouldn't do. What is the appeal of comedies like these? What are some other examples of movies with similar stories?
How is drug and alcohol use shown in the movie? Are there consequences? Do you think the movie glamorizes drug and alcohol use? Why, or why not?
How is sex portrayed here? Do you think it's realistic? How are sexual situations used to heighten moments of comedy?
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