Vanessa Bayer Steals the Show in Netflix Comedy ‘Ibiza’
Following the success of films such as “Girls Trip” and “Rough Night,” Netflix has released its own gals’ getaway comedy, “Ibiza.” Gillian Jacobs stars as Harper, a thirtysomething working a draining PR job in New York. Her demanding boss, Sarah (Michaela Watkins), a stereotypical NYC career woman trying to have it all – she even has designer twin babies – offers Harper the opportunity to fly to Barcelona, Spain to win over some potential clients. With the pressure beating down on her, Harper is less than excited about this free trip, but her best friends, Nikki (Vanessa Bayer) and Leah (Phoebe Robinson), have more than enthusiasm, which they show by springing for the tickets to join her. What ensues is a (mostly) fun and sexy booze-fueled adventure. While the plot of “Ibiza” is paper-thin, the gifted comic actresses, particularly Bayer, breathe life into the script with their hilarious dialogue, much of what appears to be improvised.
Once in Spain, it’s only a matter of hours before these cute and quirky American ladies attract the attention of the local hotties. It is on the beach where Nikki first meets the suave Diego (Félix Gómez), one of Harper’s potential clients, and he is almost instantly charmed by her, despite the sun having giving her a lobster hue. His invite to night club that evening leads to Harper meeting her guy, dreamboat D.J. Leo (“Game of Thrones” actor Richard Madden), with whom she has a meet cute after she ends up with a drawing of male genitalia on her face. They are separated, but after her girls discover that he is playing a gig that following evening in Ibiza, they convince her to fly over there, despite her having her big business meeting the next. The first real conflict of the film sets in shortly after they arrive in Ibiza and Harper learns that her meeting in Barcelona is supposed to take place the next morning, not in the evening, as she had previously believed. This gives her window of just a few hours to find Leo, make passionate love, and fly back, and becomes a presentable business woman.
Overall, while not the most realistic or complex film, “Ibiza” has an escapist quality. Although the film was actually shot in Croatia, it includes some beautiful backdrops. The soundtrack, which contains some ethereal house music, adds to the feeling of bliss. Again, Bayer really steals the show, bringing her A-game with the improv, especially in one memorable scene when she ends up alone in a bathtub while her friends both get laid. Meanwhile, Jacobs, who is known for playing a lot of downtrodden women, gets to showcase a different side of herself here as woman who gets her wishes fulfilled. And while Robinson may not be as big a name as her co-stars, she holds her own as the amusing and lively Phoebe.
“Ibiza” is available May 25 on Netflix.