If you’ve sat down and watched the delightful absurdity that is “Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar,” then you enjoy the screenwriting team of Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo. The two stars and writers of that film sat down with the New York Times to discuss the film, and the inspiration their first outing, 2011’s “Bridesmaids” had on it.
“Bridesmaids” itself was originally written to be far more absurdist, according to the pair. “When we were running around to find Lillian [the bride, played by Maya Rudolph], we were going to find a woman lying on the ground. We’re like, “It’s Lillian — she’s dead!” And then we were like, “Oh wait — it’s not Lillian.” And then we just keep running,” said Wiig.
In fact, much of how they saw the character of Lillian’s mother, played by Lynne Marie Stewart, was similar to how the characters of Barb and Star were written. “We’d go on these runs where the mother would just be talking about Costco. [Exaggerated Midwestern accent] ‘I love that, where did you get that beach cape? It’s out of sight!’ ‘I got it at Costco!’ But they had nothing to do with anything,” Mumolo said.
Mumolo, who has gone to appear in films like “Bad Moms,” was also initially slated to have an unknown role as one of the bridesmaids in the feature, but due to delays and pregnancy recast herself as a panicky airline passenger Wiig meets. “I was seven months pregnant when we began shooting, and I had my son a week and a half after we wrapped. I couldn’t play that role, so we redeveloped it and we recast it. Now I have my amazing 10-year-old son that I would just never trade for it,” said Mumolo.
It’s not to say the screenwriter hasn’t had struggles. Earlier this month Mumolo described director David O. Russell changing her script for the 2015 feature “Joy,” as “tremendously scary.”
Regardless, Mumolo and Wiig’s feature is getting a lot of love. In IndieWire’s “B” review of the movie, deputy editor Kate Erbland wrote, “It seems odd to deem any film an instant cult classic, but ‘Barb and Star’ is such a giddy outlier, a dense, flawed assemblage of zany humor that people will happily tear into for years to come.”
“Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar” is available on VOD now.