Netflix original movies are largely considered a disappointment, and unfortunately, Ibiza continues that trend. Ibiza is one of the newest original movies by Netflix, and despite the film having all the right ingredients, this is one of the most disappointing comedies of the year. The poster of Gillian Jacobs donning a unicorn onesie implies that this Netflix movie is a riot, but sadly, it’s not creative enough to be considered wildly amusing.
Written by Lauryn Kahn and directed by Alex Richanbach, the film co-stars Vanessa Bayer, Phoebe Robinson, Richard Madden, and Jordi Molla. The plot is simple: Harper (Jacobs) brings her two friends, Nikki (Bayer) and Leah (Robinson), with her on a business trip to Barcelona. Harper then decides to fly to Ibiza, so she can have sex with a hot DJ.
This Netflix film has a “fresh” score of 72 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, but this could be a bit misleading because only 18 critics reviewed the movie. The viewers’ assessment on Rotten Tomatoes seems to be more accurate; out of 218 user ratings, Ibiza has a “rotten” score of 41 percent.
A women-power story featuring a female-led cast should serve as a refreshing entry to Netflix original movies, but this film fails to platform girl-power or to entertain. The talented cast has thrilled viewers with their past movies and television series, but the trio of female stars fail to click on-screen together in this one. But the glaring problem with Ibiza is not the lack of on-screen chemistry, but the story and delivery of the film itself. The actors didn’t have much to work with in this one and it shows.
There is no backstory about any of the main characters. Seemingly, Harper is just a bad employee who decides to spend company time and money trying to hook-up with a DJ, and her equally irresponsible friends support this. This could have been a fun anecdote if the main characters were in their early 20s instead of their mid-30s, but because of their age, it’s just odd character flaws to highlight. With a lack of character depth and little exposition throughout this Netflix film, it’s hard to root for, or to care about, any of the characters and the happenings.
Littered with drug use, nudity, great music, raunchy humor, and stunning scenery presented in UHD, one would think this Netflix film would at least entertain on some level, but it rarely does. Instead, we get a glimpse of a movie that could have been. The on-screen chemistry between Gillian and her character’s lust interest, Leo (Madden), is simply charming and delightful. The duo provides the majority of the moments that are, slightly, laugh-out-loud good. But unfortunately, Netflix audiences can only expect, at most, 15 minutes of interaction between the two.
In their place, we get a ton of screen time dedicated to the three female stars dancing at clubs, getting sick off drugs, making one bad decision after the other (again, this would have worked better with a 20-something cast), and delivering poorly landed one-liner after failed one-liner. It would be inaccurate to say that this film has a climax, but the ending will likely make Netflix subscribers wish this was an irreverent romcom, or even a generic romantic comedy, instead of whatever this was.
Toward the middle of the film, Harper gives her friends a wrap-it-up gesture, and Netflix viewers will likely agree as 90 minutes have never felt so long. If this stellar cast reunites once more, hopefully they will be given better material that platforms their incredible abilities as actors. But with a poorly written script and a misguided direction, Ibiza is one of the most underwhelming movies on Netflix.