This New Netflix Girls Trip Movie Truly Focuses On Friendship Instead Of Men — And Its Stars Know That's Huge
After the massive success of Girls Trip, many people have been waiting for more movies that capture the excitement of a vacation taken by female friends. If you want to live vicariously through a group of hilarious girlfriends on holiday, Ibiza is the perfect movie for you, and the Netflix release conveniently arrives during Memorial Day Weekend. On the surface, it may seem like a typical romantic comedy, focusing on Harper (Gillian Jacobs), a 30-something women who meets the guy of her dreams (Richard Madden) and sets out to reunite with him. But the movie's not about romance; Netflix's Ibiza is actually all about the power of female friendships, as portrayed by Jacobs, Vanessa Bayer, and Phoebe Robinson.
“I do think that at the end of the movie, it's not really about that guy. It's about us,” says Bayer, speaking over the phone. Jacobs echoes this, adding that unlike in many movies, her character doesn’t give up everything for a guy. Instead, Harper uses her fun experience abroad to rethink her life choices and focus on her happiness, which includes her friendships and career. “The thing that I love about this film is that you also see her, over the course of the film, really find herself in her work life too," explains Jacobs. "So she doesn’t sacrifice it all for a guy, and she is passionate about what she does."
One of the best things about Ibiza is that each character feels true to who the hilarious women portraying them actually are. This is no coincidence; director Alex Richanbach and screenwriter Lauryn Kahn allowed the ladies to improvise on set and give a personalized touch to their characters. Robinson's Leah, for instance, is frank about topics like sex and self-care in a way that'll feel familiar to fans of the comedian's "Sooo Many White Guys" or 2 Dope Queens; Bayer’s Nikki, meanwhile, will make fans of the actor's SNL days fall in love with her new character.
“I think Nikki is closer to Vanessa in the really silly, goofy way, so I think it was a good marriage between what was in the script and tweaking it a little bit for our personalities,” says Robinson. Adds Bayer, “To an extent, we’re all just acting like ourselves. I think that’s why there’s a lot of chemistry between us, because we really did love each other and get along so well."
As far as protagonist Harper, Jacobs felt connected to her character's struggle. “I think I really relate to someone who’s stuck in the cycle of working really hard and not doing much for themselves,” she explains. “I, too, like Harper, sort of need a push from the people in my life to break out of that.”
The Ibiza cast also adopted their characters' fun-loving mentalities — sometimes even pushing themselves outside their normal comfort zones. At the movie's premiere, for instance, Jacobs decided to go to the after-party instead of going straight home, and that was just the start of her night. "We all went to Times Square to see our digital billboard, which was so exciting. Then, I actually went to a bar with my mom and was out until like, 2 in the morning. So, I had a bit of a Harper night," the actor recalls. In case you were wondering, Jacob’s mom was 100 percent into embracing her inner Harper, too. “My mom and I were going steady until 2 a.m. at a bar. I mean, she was down. I was not dragging her around. She wanted to be there for the whole thing," Jacobs adds.
Recently, Jacobs went for her most Harper feat yet: getting her ears pierced on live TV. In May, she appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live to promote Ibiza and decided to take the plunge. Although she looked squeamish during the whole experience, wriggling in pain while the doctor pierced her, Jacobs says now the event was a long time coming. “I’ve been thinking about getting my ears pierced for the last year, I’d say," she explains. "I actually offered for Season 3 of Love to get my ears pierced on camera, and they never took me up on it. So I was thinking, ‘What can I do on a talk show?'"
If the Ibiza star's spontaneity inspires your own actions, that's the whole point of the movie. “Not everyone can go to Ibiza and take drugs from a stranger and dance all night and have fun adventures with your girlfriends," says Robinson. "But I hope if you watch, you’re like, ‘OK, maybe I can’t go overseas, but maybe I can do a staycation and have fun’ or ‘Maybe I can hang out with my girlfriends more than I have been in the past.'"
You'll want to hang out with the movie's stars, too. Luckily, each of them is working on some exciting new projects. Bayer shares that she has something in the works that’ll put her behind the scenes, but warns that we “might not see it for a little while.” Robinson, meanwhile, has her highly-anticipated second book, Everything's Trash, But It's Okay, coming out on Oct. 16. “It’s another essay collection, about paying off financial debt, being a workaholic, interracial dating, chatting with Oprah, all that good stuff. It’s a good balance of sort of fun things and sort of serious, not like serious, but weightier issues, like feminism or body positivity, that stuff,” she shares. As for Jacobs, her new movie Life of the Party is currently in theaters.
Not all of us may be lucky enough to take a spontaneous trip to Europe with our girlfriends, but watching Ibiza with these ladies feels like the next best thing.