Where to watch it? In theaters (and most likely on Max by the end of 2023)
Starring: Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, American Ferrara, Kate McKinnon, Issa Rae, Rhea Perlman, Will Ferrell
Written by: Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach
Directed by: Greta Gerwig
Intro: Barbie Review
I honestly did not have high expectations for Barbie. From the trailer to the promo, none of it made me believe that this movie was going to leave me impressed.
I knew it was at least going to be decent because Greta Gerwig is a fantastic director and writer. But I could not have predicted it to be nearly as good as it is.
Barbie is a movie based on the likes of the iconic doll that debuted in 1959. The Stereotypical Barbie (Margot Robbie) has blonde hair, blue eyes, and a tall, skinny frame. And even though many of Mattel’s Barbie Dolls have individual names, in the movie they’re all just called “Barbie”.
There is a Barbie world, where everything is perfect and women-orientated. Then there’s the real world, which is not that at all. We know that humans have a unique connection with their Barbies, and Stereotypical Barbie realizes exactly what this means throughout the movie.
The movie is about much more than just Barbie and girl power. There are mentions of heavier topics such as self-consciousness, sexual harassment, patriarchy, and the many downsides of existing as girl/woman.
The opening of the movie is perfect as far as visuals go. Gerwig completely masters world building in this film. From the pink Dreamhouses, to Stereotypical Barbie exiting her high heels with only her toes planted on the ground.
Gerwig doubles down on these little details and quirks about dolls. And while sometimes it's funny and well integrated, other times it can be a bit much. The first 20 minutes of the movie were shaky, and I was questioning whether or not this film would even live up to the low expectations I had set for it. Most of the jokes weren’t landing, and the two musical portions dragged on for longer than expected.
The message, however, was clear. There was an electric pink ‘Women At Work’ sign, and a black female president Barbie (Issa Rae). This is when I knew that this movie could still turn out to be something great. We just had to get to the plot first.
From the trailer, we already know that Barbie (and Ken) somehow enter the real world. And after they do, the movie begins to reveal its true intention. Does the inciting incident in this movie make complete sense? I can’t say that it does. But it is evident from the first scenes that this movie wasn’t made to be taken too seriously in most aspects.
But as the plot unravels masterfully, the jokes get funnier and the movie finally finds its rhythm. The film does a good job at addressing both the negatives and positives of what Barbie represents.
On one hand, the ending was nice and a beautiful way to wrap up the movie. On the other hand, it was contradictory to much of what was just displayed 30 minutes before.
We saw Barbie fight SO hard to fix a specific problem. And then after the problem was resolved, she made a choice that would put her right in the center of that same problem. Just in a different way.
Final Thoughts: Barbie Review
This movie won’t be for everybody. It was a messy masterpiece. Its biggest fallback being the hit-or-miss comedy, and its biggest strength being the deliverance of its message.
Barbie is a meaningful and powerful film, where Robbie and Ryan Gosling breathe life into their characters. But one of the best performances in the movie was given to us by America Ferrara. She embodied her character, and gave us one of the best scenes in the movie.
Overall, I would probably watch the movie again. It’s one of those films you have to watch multiple times to truly catch every detail. It was a wonderful experience, seeing all the people in the theater wearing pink and the little girls carrying around their Barbie dolls. The movie, just like Barbie, is a symbol of power, beauty, and living outside the box.