4YE’s Big Movie Binge: Ibiza (2018)

Credit: Netflix

There’s no doubt that Netflix is adept at delivering TV series that pack punches. The streaming giant has also created many films that garner attention at awards shows, Mudbound and Beasts of No Nation come readily to mind. Tthe one thing Netflix hasn’t perfected is the comedy. Granted, I’m only using Ibiza as an example. Their other comedies may be great but just going off this female buddy movie, it’s safe to say that comedies aren’t really Netflix’s forte.

Ibiza stars Gillian Jacobs as Harper, an immature businesswoman who works for an overbearing boss-zilla. Said boss sends Harper to Spain to seal a deal with a Sangria company. It’s Harper chance to move up in the company she’s worked in for so long. Friends Leah and Nikki hijack the trip and throw Harper into one large bender of booze, sex, and drugs. All is not lost, though, when on the first night in Spain, Harper meets famous DJ Joe West (Richard Madden) and the pair share an instant connection. What follows is Harper, Leah, and Nikki’s attempt to track Joe down so Harper can shed her uptight persona and pursue a relationship with someone she’s insanely attracted to.

What to say about this film? Unfortunately, Ibiza is a mess and not a so-bad-its-good mess by any stretch of the imagination. It’s just bad. The same jokes are played over and over again to varying cringe-worthy punchlines and Leah and Nikki are such bad influences on Harper, I can’t even believe she’s friends with them. I simply found it unbelievable that someone who is so uptight would even have friends like Nikki and Leah. But, alas, it is what it is.

Despite the poor writing and the fact that Leah and Nikki crowd out Harper in her own story, Jacobs and Madden are adorable. I almost wanted the story to be about Madden’s character Joe than about Harper. There were a few moments when we first are introduced to Joe that really stand out as fantastic direction and fantastic acting on Madden’s part. It was that sequence that really made me wish we knew more about Joe. We know he’s Scottish, if only because of the accent, and we know he’s famous in the EDM culture but other than that and the fact that he’s spectacularly awkward, we don’t know much about Joe and those moments when we first meet him give the audience so much and yet not enough. Perhaps I’m biased because I’m on a Richard Madden kick but either way, Joe was a much more interesting character than Leah and Nikki.

In all, if you’re scrolling Netflix looking for something funny to watch, pass up on Ibiza. You’ll never get that hour and a half back of your life.

Shelby Arnold
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