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IBIZA, a grown-up-teenage romance, powered by Netflix


If you're looking for something easy, yet endearing, this might be the gem for you. Ibiza, produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, is a buddy romance movie that keeps it down to earth while also dreaming big and acting stupid. It's interesting though how a lot of movies on Netflix don't necessarily feel like movies anymore, more like decent content that keeps popping up. Where is this heading, I wonder?

The story goes like this. Harper (Gillian Jacobs) is sick of life in New York City and of her insipid job working for a PR firm. It doesn’t help that her boss Sarah (Michaela Watkins) is bitter and always mean to her while not recognizing her hard work. However, she does allow Harper to go to Barcelona and sign a new client, a major opportunity for everyone. Needless to say, Harper takes the opportunity to pursue a love interest and have fun with friends, though she will focus on work as well, but on her own terms.

"People tell each other “no” a lot in Ibiza. It’s a kind of chin-tucked-down, “no, honey” kind of faux-aghast deadpan damper, used when a friend is doing something that perhaps does not flatter them, or using a turn of phrase that, to borrow a similar ready-made comic affectation, is “not a thing.” It’s a strangely repetitive tic for a unit of entertainment ostensibly about Yes-and-ing and YOLO-ing your way through Spain, not that Ibiza is apparently interested at all in anything resembling a comedic, emotional, or thematic through line. I’m not even fully confident in calling it a movie.

Ibiza feels like the next logical step in the evolution of the Netflix Original Movie, a film that one can’t imagine possibly being written to be exhibited on any other platform. Up until this point, I’ve hesitated to wade into any semantic arguments about whether or not a 90-minute-ish piece of filmed entertainment is a “movie” or not, Ibiza has me suddenly questioning all of it. With all the inconsequential lightness of a binged sitcom episode but none of the character investment, watching director Alex Richanbach and writer Lauryn Kahn’s girls’ trip comedy feels more like watching a Snapchat story than a movie, a series of jokes and “you had to be there” incidents that fail to ever actually make you feel as if you are, in fact, there." (Vulture)


"There’s a looseness to the dialogue between the friends that manages to avoid the feeling of self-indulgent improv and instead has a naturalistic yet sharp vibe. The film works best when it’s just the three women talking about sex, or dating, or work, and it’s in these quieter, less plot-heavy moments that the film really soars. There’s genuine laughter in the more grounded interactions and we’re sold almost instantaneously on the believability of their long-term friendship.

But there’s nothing inherently commercial about these chats so instead they’re used as cushioning for a series of more extravagant comic set-pieces in the framework of a plot that runs on zaniness and extremity. Some of these moments work well (Bayer falling between two hotel beds, Robinson hopelessly corralling her drunk friends in the street) but often, it feels a bit too broad. The shaggy plot is wafer thin at best, relying too heavily on familiarity (a character going wild after taking too many drugs has now become an unavoidable staple of the contemporary comedy) and as charming as Madden is, we’re never quite sold on him being the impetus for such a major left-turn. The silliness is charming but often forced, the hit to miss ratio weakening the wilder the film gets." (The Guardian)

"Ibiza ultimately feels like a concept in search of a script, too often filling its running time with endless scenes of its characters frenziedly dancing to deafening electronic music. Lauryn Kahn's screenplay works best in its quieter moments, when the three main characters banter in a relaxed, semi-improvised fashion that makes it easy to believe they're friends. In a ramshackle comedy such as this, that's no small accomplishment." (The Hollywood Reporter)

"It’s as wild and unhinged as the other films in its brethren (the MPAA does not typically rate original Netflix films, but “Ibiza” would absolutely be on the receiving end of an R). However, “Ibiza” subverts plenty of expectations in service to a story that’s both funny and sweet. Plus, there’s nothing quite like the image of Vanessa Bayer throwing herself on to a bed, expecting one result, and getting something entirely different. Such is the drunk joy of “Ibiza.”"(Indiewire)

Watch the trailer below.

Tags:   netflix, news, comedy, trailer, film news, Ibiza

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