Friday, August 10, 2018

Movie Review: "Ibiza" (2018)

Director: Alex Richanbach
Year: 2018
Rating: TV-MA
Running Time: 1 hour, 34 minutes

When Harper is sent on a business trip to Spain, she and her friends take the opportunity to use the trip as a vacation. While there, they go on a bender. They also go on a quest to find the DJ that Harper has fallen for after knowing him for all of 45 seconds.
"This is a work trip. This is not a vacation." (Image Source)
So, a woman uses her company's money to fund a club-and-party-hopping, drug-and-alcohol-infused-bender instead of doing her job...and she's supposed to be the hero of the story because her boss yelled a lot? "Ibiza" is the feature film debut of Alex Richanbach, though he directed many shorts and episodes of TV shows before this project. It is written by Lauryn Kahn and is her feature debut as well. Like Richanbach, she wrote several shorts before penning this script. The story is about a woman named Harper (Gillian Jacobs), who works for a marketing company. Harper's boss Sarah (Michaela Watkins) sends her to Spain so she can close a deal with a Spanish wine company. Harper's friends Leah (Phoebe Robinson) and Nikki (Vanessa Bayer) convince her to use this trip as an opportunity for the three of them to have a girl's excursion in Spain where they can let loose, party hard, and hook up with some hot foreign guys. Once in Spain, the ladies drift from clubs to parties while drinking and doing drugs all on Harper's company's dime. When Harper meets a hot DJ named Leo West (Richard Madden), she falls for him nearly instantly and decides to chase him to Ibiza instead of focusing on her work.
"Don't worry, you're going to be riding that DJ's filthy dick in no time." (Image Source)
"Ibiza" is downright awful. We sure as hell hope you like EDM because you'll be lucky to go more than five minutes in this flick where pulsating beat-drops aren't blaring on the soundtrack. The narrative is choppy at best, and at its core is really just a movie about a group of women hanging out in clubs and getting drunk. This might be fine if it felt like we were having as much fun as the characters are having. That's the problem with most modern comedies: directors and writers assume that if a group of people is having a blast doing drugs, club hopping, and hooking up with randos, well, the audience must be having fun watching them have fun. This is not the case for "Ibiza," which is billed as a comedy, but only made us laugh about 3 times in 94 minutes. Characters pop in and out of the movie, and we don't really know who the hell they are or why they are there. Things happen randomly, and there isn't much rhyme or reason to anything, which again would be completely fine IF THIS STORY, AND THE HUMOR, AND THE CHARACTERS WERE FUNNY. Main character Harper goes on a quest to hook up with a DJ who has somehow fallen in love with her after going from washing a glow-in-the-dark dick off her face to saying he "has never met anyone like her" after spending literally 30 seconds with her. At the end of it all, the conclusion is supposed to be some faux-woke empowerment message where Harper wants to be with hottie DJ guy but makes him come to her instead. How, after just spending an entire vacation chasing around this man you've barely known for a minute, are we supposed to feel good about her decision to "make him come to her"? How is this empowerment?

We've said it before, and we'll say it again: we are 110% down for comedies where women are the ones who get to be crude, lavish, indulgent, sex-positive party people, but the story has to at least be worthwhile and about more than foul-mouthed characters trying to get laid with no wit, intention, or real humor. We feel the same way about films like this that are centered on male characters. The bottom line is if a movie is categorized as a "comedy," IT HAS TO BE FUNNY BY DEFINITION. That's the point of it! "Ibiza" is not funny, and if men were the central characters, it wouldn't be funny, either. A great example of a film with a premise similar to this one that has worked very well for us is this year's "Blockers" which was a lot of fun, had a fantastic message for women, and had a believable friend group that we felt attached to while watching it.
"I'm like Lewis and Clark. Just forge ahead, baby, and show me that dick." (Image Source)
"Ibiza" is a boring mess that drags through its runtime with a barrage of jokes being thrown at the audience that almost always their mark. There's too much EMD music, too many unnecessary characters, too many missed opportunities and a complete misunderstanding of how female character should actually be written.

My Rating: 2/10
BigJ's Rating: 2/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 70%
Do we recommend this movie: AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!

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