“Bridesmaids” takes a vow with “A Night at the Roxbury” is this outlandish, ecstatic, feel-good gem of a Netflix comedy. With snappy dialogue, charming characters and a near-asinine plot that still feels totally rooted in reality, “Ibiza” is a delightful discotech of ha-ha’s, churning out dozens of laughs with every drop of the bass.
“Community’s” Gillian Jacobs stars as Harper, a low-level employee at a bougie NYC PR firm. Harper is randomly sent on an international business trip to Barcelona by her overbearing, anxiety-inducing boss Sarah (Michaela Watkins). Tagging along are her misfit companions Leah (Phoebe Robinson) and the delightfully dull-minded Nikki (Vanessa Bayer in her very best role to date). The threesome galivant over Gaudi streets and clubs, where Harper locks eyes with a charismatic, handsome DJ named Leo (Richard Madden). Harper learns Leo will be playing in nearby Ibiza, and reluctantly concocts a scheme to visit him in a tight-enough timeframe to allow her to persuade the potential PR clients back in mainland Spain.
It’s a joyous romp, a movie brought to life by its relatable and personable lead trio. Jacobs captures the sardonic dedication of Harper to a fault, a woman devoted to a job she hates while constantly denying herself the pleasures she enjoys. Sarah excels as the “straight man” of the group, a wise, weed-smoking sage who still finds herself sprinting away from her lover’s spurned ex. And Nikki echoes the brainless-ness of Brick from “Anchorman” and the comradery of Karen from “Mean Girls,” a ditz who can get by in the world, but enough of a jester to amplify her friends’ comedic sensibilities.
The movie drags through its club scenes and travels through Spain, deflating the feel-good vibes we get from the girls when they’re just kicking back at a nondescript, jizz-stained hotel room. But “Ibiza” is enough of a pleasure experience to still propel forward even in choppy Spanish waters. It’s the first Netflix comedy since “The Meyerowtiz Stories” to be of the same quality as a major theatrical release. That’s probably because “Ibiza,” even in its global gallivanting, realized the best laughs come from not exotic settings but the great characters who populate them.