Keen to expand her current role at work, publicist Harper (Gillian Jacobs) is surprised when her neurotic boss Sarah (Michaela Watkins) sends her to Spain to charm some potential clients and secure their business. Knowing how important the trip is, Harper reluctantly agrees to let her friends Leah (Phoebe Robinson) and Nikki (Vanessa Bayer) tag along. Once in Spain the trio decide to hit the town to experience the nightlife and Harper catches the attention of club DJ Leo West (Richard Madden). He gives her his number and they loosely arrange to meet up after the club closes. When that doesn’t happen, Harper is egged on by her friends to fly to Ibiza, where Leo is playing his next gig. Worried about missing the meeting she has the next day, Harper decides to throw caution to the wind and the three women go on a drug-fuelled, crazy adventure.
Ibiza is essentially a raunchy comedy in the vein of recent films such as Girls Trip and Rough Night. Directed by Alex Richanbach and written by Lauryn Kahn, the Netflix Original tells an implausible story in an entertaining and often funny way. The film is a classic good night out turns into a nightmare story that has been done many times over but with Gillian Jacobs (Community) leading the cast, it’s better than it probably should be. After Harper initially meets Leo, thanks to him spotting a drawing of a huge dick on her face, the two instantly connect and the rest of the film sees them trying to find one another.
Looming over Harper and her friends the entire time is that they need to be back at their hotel so she doesn’t miss the meeting her boss sent her to attend but after plenty of drugs and alcohol, and the promise of a night of sex with a strapping Scottish hunk, the importance of that starts to take a backseat. As the friends set about their adventure, there are laughs to be had and the chemistry between Jacobs, Robinson and Bayer is the main reason Ibiza is so watchable.
Where the film falls down is that it spends a little too much time sharing the clubbing experience. In all honesty it doesn’t really capture the authentic Ibiza atmosphere (the film was made in Croatia) and the scenes in the clubs go on for too long as we watch Harper and her friends get more wrecked and dance the night away. Shorter glimpses inside the club would have made the film a little zippier rather than it feeling a little overly padded out.
That having been said, despite the implausible situations Harper and co get into, you actually do care if she finds Leo again or not. That is in part due to a charismatic performance from Madden, who is best-known for his role as Rob Stark in Game of Thrones. He immediately sizzles with Jacobs and you can’t help but hope the two find one another and hook up by the end of the movie. It’s only a small role for Madden but he makes quite the impression.
Ibiza isn’t by any means an amazing movie but it’s certainly watchable. A lot of ideas are thrown into the mix and not all of them land the way they should. Sometimes with film you have to throw reality out of the window and just enjoy the ride, and that’s very much the case here. Ibiza may not be a laugh a minute and definitely has its issues but there’s enough charm and humour here to carry you through for the film’s 94 minute length.
Cast: Gillian Jacobs, Phoebe Robinson, Vanessa Bayer, Richard Madden, Félix Gómez, Michaela Watkins Director: Alex Richanbach Writer: Lauryn Kahn Certificate: 15 Duration: 94 mins Released by: Netflix Release date: 25th May 2018