Netflix's 'Ibiza' should do for Vanessa Bayer what 'Girls Trip' did for Tiffany Haddish
'Saturday Night Live' alumna Vanessa Bayer plays a naive dentist in 'Ibiza' on Netflix.
We’ve seen Vanessa Bayer play an innocent friend named Nikki before (in 2015’s Trainwreck). But this time around, as one of the stars of Netflix’s rom-com Ibiza, the Saturday Night Live alumna finally shines.
Ibiza, the best-friends-go-on-a-wild-trip comedy available Friday, has Bayer’s Nikki going on an impromptu trip to Spain with her besties Harper (Gillian Jacobs) and Leah (Phoebe Robinson). The movie, which was originally called I’m in Love With the DJ, has a shallow, circa 2014 plot about Harper neglecting work responsibilities for a hot EDM DJ (Richard Madden). However, the girlfriends' banter and comedic timing, specifically Bayer's, is more than worth watching.
And it’s no surprise. On SNL, Bayer was reliably humorous with her impersonations of Jacob the Bar Mitzvah boy and Miley Cyrus. But when it came to combining romance and comedy on the show, she was even better. The 2014 sketch Awkward Flirts had her making uncomfortable, laugh-out-loud conversation with neighbor Kyle Mooney. One of 2017's best sketches, a parody of a Totino's commercial, had Bayer playing a housewife who has a sexual awakening in the kitchen with Kristen Stewart, in the style of a romantic French film. And in her small role in Amy Schumer's Trainwreck, Bayer got plenty of laughs for her character's terrible dating advice and inability to stop smiling.
(Warning: This 'Ibiza' trailer is NSFW.)
So letting Bayer be flirty, funny and free for a full feature film makes sense. In Ibiza, she’s a dentist naive enough to not know what it means to blackmail someone, but bold enough to inadvertently do it. She tries to avoid smoking in groups (last time she did, she “tried to convince everyone that Shallow Hal is the best film of our generation”), but isn’t afraid to party so hard she winds up exercising, high, in a stranger’s house. The physical comedy in the latter scene is liquid-spewing-out-of-your-nose funny.
Ibiza, much like Tiffany Haddish’s Girls Trip before it, should be a star-making vehicle for Bayer. Before Haddish deservingly broke out in her 2017 ensemble comedy, her biggest movie role was as a cop in the action comedy Keanu. Today, Haddish has a memoir, TV show, movies and is at the top of many lists to host the Oscars. Bayer should be considered for more than bit parts and TV cameos (she's appeared on Love and Will & Grace), too.
On the strength of this performance, casting directors will be asking Bayer to "GTD."
That's short for “Gimme Them Digits," as Nikki says in Ibiza: "I’m gonna start that.”