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The buddy comedy is a staple of American film, but using this to explore female friendship is still fresh ground. Erica, Mark, Brian, and Erica’s long-time friend Micah Greene (actor and nurse) discuss tropes and dynamics within this kind of film, focusing primarily on Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar, the 2021 release written and starring Kristin Wiig and Annie Mumolo as a couple of middle aged near-twin oddballs expanding their horizons in a surrealistic, gag-filled tropical venue.
While male pairings of this sort (Cheech and Chong, Bob and Doug McKenzie, Beavis and Butthead et al) stick to silly jokes, Barb and Star base their antics around their evolving relationship toward each other. As with the 2019 film Booksmart and many TV shows including Dead to Me, PEN15, and Grace and Frankie, the trend is toward dramedy as the dynamics of friendship are taken seriously. We also touch on Bridesmaids, Sisters, The Heat, BAPS, I Love You Man, and more.
A few relevant articles:
- “The Rise of the Female Buddy Dramedy” by Jen Chaney
- “Sorry Bros, But Ladies Actually Do The Buddy Comedy Better” by Allee Manning and Kaitlyn Kelly
- “Where Are All The Buddy Comedies For Black Women?” by Jazmin Kopotsha
- “Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo on ‘Bridesmaids’ and ‘Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar’” by Dave Itzkoff
- “‘Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar’ Is Silly in All the Right Ways” by Rachel Syme
- “It Takes Two: Top 25 Best Buddy Comedies” from Rolling Stone
- “10 Female Buddy Comedies Better Than ‘Like A Boss,’ According to Rotten Tomatoes” by Rocco Thompson
This episode includes bonus discussion you can access by supporting the podcast at patreon.com/prettymuchpop. This podcast is part of the Partially Examined Life podcast network and is curated by openculture.com.
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