On “Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar” and the Female Buddy Comedy–Pretty Much Pop: A Culture Podcast #87

The bud­dy com­e­dy is a sta­ple of Amer­i­can film, but using this to explore female friend­ship is still fresh ground. Eri­ca, Mark, Bri­an, and Eri­ca’s long-time friend Mic­ah Greene (actor and nurse) dis­cuss tropes and dynam­ics with­in this kind of film, focus­ing pri­mar­i­ly on Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar, the 2021 release writ­ten and star­ring Kristin Wiig and Annie Mumo­lo as a cou­ple of mid­dle aged near-twin odd­balls expand­ing their hori­zons in a sur­re­al­is­tic, gag-filled trop­i­cal venue.

While male pair­ings of this sort (Cheech and Chong, Bob and Doug McKen­zie, Beav­is and Butthead et al) stick to sil­ly jokes, Barb and Star base their antics around their evolv­ing rela­tion­ship toward each oth­er. As with the 2019 film Books­mart and many TV shows includ­ing Dead to Me, PEN15, and Grace and Frankie, the trend is toward dram­e­dy as the dynam­ics of friend­ship are tak­en seri­ous­ly. We also touch on Brides­maids, Sis­ters, The Heat, BAPS, I Love You Man, and more.

A few rel­e­vant arti­cles:

Hear more of this pod­cast at prettymuchpop.com. This episode includes bonus dis­cus­sion that you can access by sup­port­ing the pod­cast at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This pod­cast is part of the Par­tial­ly Exam­ined Life pod­cast net­work.

Pret­ty Much Pop: A Cul­ture Pod­cast is the first pod­cast curat­ed by Open Cul­ture. Browse all Pret­ty Much Pop posts.

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.