Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar
Two women riding on the back of a giant prawn
Promotional poster
Directed byJosh Greenbaum
Written by
Produced by
CinematographyToby Oliver
Edited bySteve Welch
Music by
Distributed byLionsgate
Release date
  • February 12, 2021 (2021-02-12) (United States)
Running time
107 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$32,825[1]

Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar is a 2021 American comedy film directed by Josh Greenbaum, from a screenplay by Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo, who also star. Originally scheduled for a 2020 release, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the film was pushed back and released in the United States by Lionsgate via VOD on February 12, 2021. The film received generally positive reviews from critics.


Middle-aged best friends Barb and Star leave their home of Soft Rock, Nebraska for the first time to go on vacation to Vista Del Mar, Florida. They are apprehensive about trying something new. The two friends construct a narrative about a woman named "Trish", who becomes a water spirit. Upon arrival, they find accommodations at the luxurious Vista Del Mar Hotel and resolve to try many excursions, particularly an inflatable banana inner tube ride.

Meanwhile, an eccentric villain, Sharon Fisherman is plotting against the denizens of Vista Del Mar. Sharon lived there as a child, and her pale white skin and sensitivity to the sun made her an outcast and a target of bullying. She plans to unleash lethal mosquitos, killing everyone. She sends her henchman, Edgar, to Vista Del Mar to plant a homing beacon that will attract the mosquitos once they are unleashed. She falsely promises Edgar that if he succeeds, she will finally make their relationship official.

Barb and Star encounter Edgar at the hotel bar and begin to bond and party with him. The next morning, Edgar realizes he lost the microchip for the beacon during the night, infuriating Sharon. She sends another agent, Darlie Bunkle, to give Edgar another microchip and to spy on him, Barb, and Star. Barb meets with Edgar, but feels conflicted about seeing him behind Star's back, and decides not to pursue him any further. Star also meets with Edgar, but despite feeling conflicted about Barb, continues to have a sexual relationship with him in secret that develops into romance.

Star's secret tryst leaves Barb alone at the resort, and Barb tries out all Vista Del Mar has to offer. On the day of the annual Seafood Jam, she decides to wait for Star before going on the banana ride, but spots Star and Edgar having sex on Edgar's balcony. She goes to confront Edgar, but overhears his plans with Sharon. She informs Star, who accuses her of jealousy, while Barb accuses her of lying to her. Sharon uses photos from Darlie to convince Edgar that Barb and Star are spies and that Star was using him. She orders him to kill them. Edgar captures them but cannot bring himself to kill them, leaving them indoors where they will be safe and plants the beacon. They escape, but are kidnapped by Sharon, who brings them to an ocean cliff. She forces the women to jump, and leaves to go ensure her revenge succeeds. As they fall, Barb and Star's culottes act as parachutes that allow them to safely land on the ground. They reconcile and go to stop Sharon.

Edgar realizes that Sharon lied to him about Barb and Star, that she never loved him, and was setting him up to die. He spots Star and Barb and helps them locate the homing beacon. He confesses his love to Star, but they are held at gunpoint by Darlie. Edgar fights Darlie, while Star and Barb escape with the beacon, taking a jet ski out to sea to save the town. Sharon uses a human cannon to reach them, regaining the beacon. However, it is too late and the unleashed mosquitos converge on her. Barb and Star go underwater, avoiding the mosquitos. They are rescued and brought back to shore by Trish, the water spirit. Sharon arrives on shore, having survived the mosquitos by taking an antidote. Star recognizes that Sharon's hostility is born from her bullied childhood, and having never experienced true friendship (with the exception of a girl who befriended her only to be immediately eaten by an alligator). She offers to be Sharon's friend, as do the other residents, melting Sharon's icy facade. The town celebrates. Barb and Star ride the banana ride.



The film was officially announced in April 2019, having been in production for a number of years, with Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig, the co-writers of the screenplay, set to play the titular characters, and Josh Greenbaum directing. Wiig and Mumolo also produced, alongside Jessica Elbaum, Will Ferrell, and Adam McKay, under the Gloria Sanchez Productions banner, with Lionsgate distributing.[3] In June 2019, Jamie Dornan joined the cast of the film,[4] and in July 2019, it was announced that Wendi McLendon-Covey and Damon Wayans Jr. had joined as well.[5]


Principal photography began in July 2019.[6] Production was initially supposed to take place in Atlanta, Georgia, but was moved to Cancun, Mexico,[7] Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and Albuquerque, New Mexico,[8] in response to Georgia House Bill 481.[9] Filming wrapped in September 2019.[citation needed]


Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar was scheduled to be released theatrically on July 31, 2020, but was pushed back to July 16, 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[10][11] On January 11, 2021, Lionsgate announced that it was cancelling the film's theatrical release, and instead opened the film via premium VOD on February 12, 2021.[12] In August 2021, it was announced that the film would receive a theatrical release at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, beginning September 12, 2021 at its Los Angeles location and nationwide on September 19.[13]


VOD sales

In its first weekend of release, the film was the third-most rented title on Apple TV, fourth on FandangoNow, and fifth on Google Play.[14] In its second weekend, the film finished fourth on Spectrum, fifth on FandangoNow, sixth on Apple TV, and seventh on Google Play.[15]

Critical response

Review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reports that 79% of 178 critic reviews were positive, with an average rating of 6.4/10. The website's critics consensus reads, "Bright, colorful, and unabashedly silly, Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar reaffirms that Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig are still as fun—and funny—as ever."[16] According to Metacritic, which sampled 30 critics and calculated a weighted average score of 64 out of 100, the film received "generally favorable reviews."[17]

Some critics praised Jamie Dornan's comedic performance and singing, with several saying he was a highlight of the film.[18][19]

The Hollywood Reporter included the film among the best films of 2021 as of July 2021.[20]


  1. ^ "Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved July 10, 2021.
  2. ^ Ebiri, Bilge (February 11, 2021). "Barb & Star Go to Vista del Mar Arrives Preordained for Cult Status". Vulture. Archived from the original on February 12, 2021. Retrieved February 12, 2021.
  3. ^ Hipes, Patrick (April 17, 2019). "Kristen Wiig & Annie Mumolo Reunite For Lionsgate's 'Barb And Star Go To Vista Del Mar'". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on December 10, 2019. Retrieved July 16, 2019.
  4. ^ Galuppo, Mia (June 27, 2019). "Jamie Dornan Joins Kristen Wiig in Lionsgate Comedy 'Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on July 22, 2019. Retrieved July 16, 2019.
  5. ^ Day-Ramos, Dino (July 15, 2019). "Wendi McLendon-Covey, Damon Wayans Jr. Join 'Barb And Star Go To Vista Del Mar'". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on July 15, 2019. Retrieved July 16, 2019.
  6. ^ Nolfi, Joey (July 11, 2019). "Kristen Wiig flanks Jamie Dornan in first Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar photo". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on July 16, 2019. Retrieved July 16, 2019.
  7. ^ "Extras Casting Mexico is with Verónica Barrios". Facebook (in Spanish). June 24, 2019. Archived from the original on May 12, 2021. Retrieved May 11, 2021.
  8. ^ Gomez, Adrian (September 5, 2019). "Kristen Wiig, Annie Mumolo wrap "Barb and Star Go To Vist Del Mar" in ABQ". Albuquerque Journal. Archived from the original on May 5, 2021. Retrieved May 11, 2021.
  9. ^ Hayes, Dade (May 21, 2019). "Amazon's 'The Power' And Kristen Wiig Comedy Withdraw From Georgia Over Abortion Law". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on July 16, 2019. Retrieved July 16, 2019.
  10. ^ Galuppo, Mia (August 9, 2019). "Kristen Wiig, Annie Mumolo Comedy 'Barb and Star' Dated for July 2020". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on August 9, 2019. Retrieved August 9, 2019.
  11. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (May 1, 2020). "'John Wick 4' To 2022, While 'Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard', 'Spiral, 'Barb And Star' & More Head To 2021: Lionsgate Release Date Changes". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on May 2, 2020. Retrieved May 1, 2020.
  12. ^ Vlessing, Etan (January 11, 2021). "Lionsgate Sets Premium VOD Release for Kristen Wiig's 'Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar'". Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on January 11, 2021. Retrieved January 11, 2021.
  13. ^ "'Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar' Is Finally Coming to Theaters (EXCLUSIVE)". 10 August 2021. Retrieved 2021-08-10.
  14. ^ Brueggemann, Tom (February 15, 2021). "'Croods 2' and 'Wonder Woman 1984' Show VOD Rebound as 'Barb and Star' Makes Strong Debut". IndieWire. Archived from the original on May 12, 2021. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  15. ^ Brueggemann, Tom (February 23, 2021). "'Monster Hunter' and 'Greenland' Lead VOD Charts, While 'Croods 2' Remains Unstoppable". IndieWire. Archived from the original on February 23, 2021. Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  16. ^ "Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar (2021)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Archived from the original on March 1, 2021. Retrieved March 29, 2022. Edit this at Wikidata
  17. ^ "Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar Reviews". Metacritic. Archived from the original on March 6, 2021. Retrieved February 28, 2021.
  18. ^ Skubic, Sydney (February 12, 2021). "Kristen Wiig's Barb And Star Go To Vista Del Mar Reviews Have Dropped, Here's What Critics Are Saying". CinemaBlend. Archived from the original on February 15, 2021. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  19. ^ Menta, Anna (February 12, 2021). "Jamie Dornan Is The Hilarious Himbo We Deserve In "Barb and Star"". Decider. Archived from the original on February 25, 2021. Retrieved May 12, 2021.
  20. ^ Rooney, David (4 July 2021). "The Hollywood Reporter Critics Pick the Best Films of 2021 (So Far)". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 4 July 2021.