The joyous escape of ‘Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar’

“Day 6
Kristen Wig as Star and Annie Mumolo as Barb in Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar.
Photo by Cate Cameron

By Molly Given

When Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig first teamed up to pen a film, the end result provided a huge step for women in comedy. ‘Bridesmaids’ was said to “set a new standard” for women in the comedic world, and now the dynamic duo is back together again for a light adventure, movie ‘Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar.’  

Where did the idea for Barb and Star come from? 

Kristen and I, when we were at The Groundlings sketch comedy theater [in Los Angeles], we were always drawn to these middle-aged women characters, even when we were just in our early 20s. Then, when we wrote ‘Bridesmaids,’ we kind of discovered that we were always trying to work these characters into the movie as well. They didn’t really have anything to do with the storyline, so they were always getting cut, but one night we were loopy and having fun and being one of the mom characters, and Kristen said one day we’re going to write a movie based on these women. As time went on more, we realized they are very close to who we are as people—they are just who we are when we’re on the phone together in our private life. So it kind of all came from different places. 

How would you describe Barb and Star? What do you like about them?  I think that I envy these characters, they’re characters who are a wish fulfillment for us. Barb and Star don’t censor their feelings or emotions and they don’t worry about what other people think about them. They take joy in the simple things that most of us take advantage of or take for granted. There’s an enviable aspect where I’d rather be one of them, you know? 

It took some time to make Barb and Star, what was that process like?  Gosh, it was long. But, movies, in general, do typically take a long time to get made. You have to work on the script and get it to the place where somebody wants to make it, and put the money in and you have to find the right people for it and [hope] that they’re going to get it— otherwise you’ll spend eight years of your life on something that doesn’t work out. But mostly, all of that time is in writing and re-writing and re-writing and re-writing and knocking on doors, and getting a lot of rejection. It’s just a very hard process and you really have to believe in what you’re doing. It’s no joke. 

So, how many times does a script like that have to be re-written?  It’s hard to say how many times exactly, but with the writing process itself, first you vomit out a first draft, and then you look at it and you’re refining it and fine-tuning it. With comedy, there are a lot of elements that you’re trying to make work so you kind of do layering. With the comedy aspect, at every sector, you’re trying to make it better and funnier and you’re finding different opportunities to try different things.  

to Vista Del Mar’ is now available to stream everywhere you rent movies. 

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