Falling in love across continents is the going thing these days, what with technology and travel making it that much easier to maintain long distance relationships. Ibiza captures what new-age romance is all about; an intriguing mix of modern millennialism combined with the more traditional notion of love at first sight.
The film follows Harper (Gillian Jacobs) and her friends, Leah (Phoebe Robinson) and Nikki (Vanessa Bayer), as they live it up in Spain during a weekend away from the bustling city of New York. What starts out as a work trip and the possibility of a promotion for Harper transitions into something a little saucier, as the nights go on and each of the women dabble in their own sprinkling of international love.
Writer Lauryn Kahn defines Harper’s character with a humorous edge, portrayed through quick-witted lines and funny quips. Jacobs’ brings to life this edgy side of Harper by perfectly encapsulating her humour and simultaneously capturing the character’s understated beauty and reserved energy.
Set across Barcelona, Ibiza and New York, Ibiza highlights the disparity between the USA and Spain, depicting how the latter exists at a much slower, friendlier and more sexual pace than the former. Why anyone would choose to live in America over the sunny shores of Europe, I couldn’t say.
Directed by Alex Richanbach, the film successfully conveys the theme of women in power from beginning to end. Of the three main characters, one is a freelancer, one is a dental assistant blackmailing her boss and the other has been stuck in a dead end marketing job for four years. Despite the varying degrees of their individual situations, each of these women supports themselves without any assistance required from a male counterpart, further underlining the truth of how our society has seen such a huge shift away from patriarchal dependency.
With its light-hearted storyline, exciting spontaneity and inexplicable twists of fate, Ibiza appeals to the dreamer in all of us. If this film doesn’t make you want to get on a plane, fly across the world and live out your own epic love affair, then I don’t know what will.
The Balearic government considered whether to take legal action against Netflix because of this film. According to them, Neflix took advantage of Ibiza’s image by naming the film after the island but actually shooting it in Croatian locations instead. They also argued that this film not only perpetuates harmful stereotypes about Ibiza but it also clashes with the tourism board attempts to subvert them.