Margot Robbie as Barbie, wearing a big beaming smile and a pink gingham spaghetti-strap dress, standing in front of a neon pink DreamHouse slide in the 2023 live-action movie Barbie

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The Barbie movie finds all the fun in laughing at the men’s rights movement

It’s a takedown of toxic masculinity tied up with a pretty pink wrapper

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I grew up in a Barbie household, as well as a deeply feminist household. Along with My Little Pony, Cherry Merry Muffin , and (prized above all) my extensive collection of She-Ra action figures, my mother gave me and my sister Barbie dolls for “imaginative play,” something Mom encouraged just as much as she encouraged us to play video games — for hand-eye coordination and for our potential careers in STEM, naturally.

Our TV habits were mediated with feminism in mind, too; I watched and rewatched She-Ra: Princess of Power on VHS, but I barely knew He-Man, whom I considered as irrelevant as Ken. As I grew older and met other kids, though, I realized I had been living in Opposite Land. Everybody else knew He-Man better than She-Ra. The female-dominated world of Barbie, She-Ra, My Little Pony, and so on was a farce. The real world was made for Ken.

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Heading into the press screening for Barbie , I regressed back into the beautiful, childlike misconceptions of my toy collection. I spent my drive to the movie thinking back on my love of Margot Robbie in Birds of Prey and I, Tonya , as well as my admiration for Greta Gerwig’s body of work, from Frances Ha to Little Women . Even knowing this movie would have to wrestle with Mattel’s involvement and control over the massive Barbie brand, I knew director Greta Gerwig and co-writer Noah Baumbach would find their own way to unpack and analyze modern standards of femininity and feminist thought. I figured it’d be a little funny, a little deep, maybe a little too basic, but hopefully smarter than The Lego Movie .

I did not expect Barbie to be a movie about Ken — and more importantly, a movie Ryan Gosling steals with such glorious aplomb that I can’t even be that mad at him for it.

[ Ed. note: Minor setup spoilers ahead for Barbie .]

Barbie (Margot Robbie), in a glittery pink gown, does a line dance in front of a pair of wall-less pink plastic life-sized Barbie Dreamhouses, flanked by five Kens in all white, played by Kingsley Ben-Adir, Ryan Gosling, Simu Liu, Ncuti Gatwa, and Scott Evans, in the 2023 movie Barbie

Don’t get me wrong. Margot Robbie is no slouch as what the movie calls “Stereotypical Barbie” — the blond bombshell that kids in Mattel focus groups point to when presented with diverse Barbie dolls and asked, “Which one is Barbie?” Stereotypical Barbie starts the movie as a confident woman who knows exactly who she is, and doesn’t ever want anything to change. She lives in Barbieland, a fantasy realm conjured by Mattel that’s powered by the imaginations of kids who play with Barbie dolls. It’s a world ruled by Barbies, and unashamed of traditional feminine tropes. The president is a Barbie (played by Issa Rae, in a pink silk “President” sash). The Supreme Court is all Barbie. And every Nobel Prize winner in history is — you guessed it — a Barbie. Every pink-washed DreamHouse mansion in Barbieland is owned by a woman who makes her own money and spends her free time indulging in “girls’ nights” where everybody shares a glorious communal wardrobe.

Stereotypical Barbie has no reason to leave this beautiful feminine realm. She’s forced to trek into the harsh world of Reality only because somewhere, someone is playing with her while experiencing such intense existential angst that their emotions are reaching Barbieland and drilling into Barbie’s psyche. Her real-world owner is inadvertently causing her to think about death, get actual cellulite on her thighs, and even develop articulated ankles that experience all-too-real pain when she stuffs her feet into stiletto heels.

But even before the wall between Barbieland and Reality starts breaking down, it’s all too clear that this is Ken’s movie. At the film’s outset, Barbie has it all, and Robbie sells Barbieland’s bland, uncomplicated happiness with a frozen-but-satisfied smile. For Ken, though, it’s never been that simple. Barbie is happy by default, but Ken is only happy when Barbie acknowledges him. In a world where every night is girls’ night, Ken can never experience satisfaction.

Ken isn’t just frustrated about competing with all the many other Kens for Barbie’s affection — although that is an issue, with hot, comparatively youthful it boy Simu Liu playing a version of Ken who makes Gosling’s Ken sweat bullets. Ken lacks purpose in Barbieland, and he wants that to change. Without Barbie, he’s nothing — and most of the time, Ken is without Barbie. He’s an afterthought whose main role in life is holding her purse.

Barbie (Margot Robbie) and Ken (Ryan Gosling), both wearing garish, patterned neon skating outfits and incredibly bright neon-yellow kneepads and Rollerblades, stand in front of a beach between two trees covered in graffiti and go in for a high-five in the 2023 live-action movie Barbie

Barbie starts off slow, doing the work of establishing the cutesy realm of Barbieland so there’s a clear, dark contrast when the film eventually enters Reality. But even in this opening act, Gosling swipes each scene from the sidelines, his face wracked by the near-constant heartbreak of Barbie’s lack of interest in him. As a viewer, I was far more drawn to his arc, even as I worried, Is it a bad thing that Ken is the best thing about the Barbie movie?

But Barbie stays one step ahead of that thought, because it’s all leading up to an expert commentary on how little girls will always realize, sooner or later, that the real world is run by men, and that its Kens have more power than its Barbies. And once Gosling’s Ken makes it to Reality, he realizes this too, and he goes full men’s rights activist, transitioning from Barbie’s placeholder boyfriend into one of the most fascinating antagonists in modern pop cinema.

The film’s comedic yet incisive commentary on toxic masculinity is its strongest throughline, as it infects Gosling’s Ken, and eventually all of the rest of Barbieland’s Kens and Barbies. Whenever the movie is joking about the patriarchy and the very idea of the men’s rights movement, it sings. It also literally sings, with frequent in-jokey background songs, and a sequence where all the Kens bore their respective Barbie girlfriends to tears by whipping out acoustic guitars to sing at her rather than to her. We all know what we don’t want in a man. The far more difficult point to make, it turns out, is about Barbie herself, and what she represents. Who is Barbie in 2023?

Margot Robbie’s Barbie asks that question in a lot of different ways, but the answer becomes no clearer once she visits Reality. It’s useful to capitalize Reality when describing Barbie , because unlike Splash or Enchanted , this movie does not attempt to depict a recognizable version of our human world. Reality as depicted in Barbie is as much of a caricature as Barbieland, stuffed with recognizable tropes: sexist, catcalling construction workers; fist-pumping gym bros; and well-heeled white-collar executives who helpfully explain how the patriarchy works. That works perfectly to illustrate the extreme cartoonishness of men’s rights as interpreted by Ken, but it falls a bit short when it comes to illustrating the complexities of Barbie’s identity as a doll, a global brand, and a social phenomenon, much less a character attempting to understand contemporary American womanhood.

The back of a garishly neon-painted panel van opens to reveal five people in matching powder-pink jumpsuits and nonmatching pink-rimmed sunglasses: Barbie (Margot Robbie), also Barbie (Alexandra Shipp), Allan (Michael Cera), Sasha (Ariana Greenblatt), and Gloria (America Ferrera), in the live-action 2023 movie Barbie

There’s a third rail that Gerwig and Baumbach scarcely dare to touch in Barbie : body image. Barbie designers at Mattel have struggled in this arena, too, as Barbie’s nonstandard but idealized body proportions have remained controversial, even as the company has introduced several variations in recent years . (They include a “curvy” Barbie, a “petite” Barbie , and a Barbie with articulated knees who can use a wheelchair.) Yes, Barbie can have every career imaginable — she can be president , even if real-life women can’t — but can she manage to rise above a size 6?

In the Barbie movie, she certainly can. Robbie definitely doesn’t have the proportions of the original “stereotypical Barbie,” although I’d say she’s close enough. (I don’t care to look up the numerical comparison, because it would only depress me.) But this movie’s full cast of Barbies would absolutely not be able to share their outfits, which the movie never explicitly addresses or resolves. Sharon Rooney of Hulu’s My Mad Fat Diary gets to be a Barbie without her size ever being mentioned. Hari Nef , the first transgender model to sign with IMG Models, is also a Barbie. Like all the other Barbies (and unlike so many trans people), she never has to worry about anybody questioning her genitalia, because nobody in Barbieland has any genitalia whatsoever.

Barbieland is a fantasy of perfect inclusion, yet it’s also a flattened one, because even in Reality, the issues facing non-Barbie-type women never fully surface. They get a quick, pointed acknowledgement from the mouth of Gloria (America Ferrera), a put-upon Reality mom who works for Mattel and still loves Barbie in spite of all the baggage that comes with her. At one point, Gloria runs down the ever-expanding list of double standards that modern American women face, such as the pressure to be “thin,” which women must claim is because they want to be “healthy” so they don’t look vain or shallow, even though they’ll really just be judged for not being thin. None of the non-thin Barbies react to this point, because they don’t quite work in a narrative that has to simplify all the social and gender issues it raises, at least if the credits are ever going to roll.

By the same token, the nonwhite Barbies and Kens argue about “the patriarchy” among themselves upon learning about it, but they don’t ever seem to learn about racial politics, even though Simu Liu’s Ken wouldn’t have existed 13 years ago. (The first-ever Asian Ken doll was, um, “ Samurai Ken ” in 2010.) And Kate McKinnon, playing a so-called Weird Barbie who experienced an extreme haircut and makeover at the hands of an experimental child, never actually answers the question anybody would have upon seeing her gay-ass haircut and knowing the actor’s sexuality. Yet even if no one says it, Weird Barbie is clearly Gay Barbie.

Weird Barbie (Kate McKinnon), a Barbie in a shapeless, baggy, multicolored dress, with her hair cut at various short lengths dyed pastel pink and blue, and with scribbles on her face, lies on the ground staring at the stockinged, shoeless feet of Barbie (Margot Robbie) in the 2023 live-action movie Barbie.

Skipping over all those conversations isn’t an oversight: It’s a series of intentional decisions designed to keep an already overstuffed, heady, and cerebral film moving along at a sprightly pace. I don’t need the Barbie movie, brought to me with Mattel’s approval, to offer incisive political commentary on every issue of the day. It’s more than enough that it unravels so many of America’s masculine anxieties of the moment, and that it does its job backward and in high heels.

Barbie the doll has to be everything for everyone, and she’s never succeeded. Barbie the movie has been asked to perform the same impossible trick — and just like I still feel a sentimental attachment to Barbie, I feel an overwhelming fondness and admiration for the movie’s daring attempt to make it work. I had forgotten that I had ever even experienced the dream world Barbieland offered me as a young girl. Barbie made me remember. That alone is enough to make the whole movie sparkle with surprising, refreshing fire.

Barbie opens in theaters on July 21.

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  • <i>Barbie</i> Is Very Pretty But Not Very Deep

Barbie Is Very Pretty But Not Very Deep

T he fallacy of Barbie the doll is that she’s supposed to be both the woman you want to be and your friend, a molded chunk of plastic—in a brocade evening dress, or a doctor’s outfit, or even Jane Goodall’s hyper-practical safari suit—which is also supposed to inspire affection. But when you’re a child, your future self is not a friend—she’s too amorphous for that, and a little too scary. And you may have affection, or any number of conflicted feelings, for your Barbie, but the truth is that she’s always living in the moment, her moment, while you’re trying to dream your own future into being. Her zig-zagging signals aren’t a problem—they’re the whole point. She’s always a little ahead of you, which is why some love her, others hate her, and many, many fall somewhere in the vast and complex in-between.

With Barbie the movie —starring Margot Robbie, also a producer on the film—director Greta Gerwig strives to mine the complexity of Barbie the doll, while also keeping everything clever and fun, with a hot-pink exclamation point added where necessary. There are inside jokes, riffs on Gene Kelly-style choreography, and many, many one-line zingers or extended soliloquies about modern womanhood—observations about all that’s expected of us, how exhausting it all is, how impossible it is to ever measure up. Gerwig has done a great deal of advance press about the movie, assuring us that even though it’s about a plastic toy, it’s still stuffed with lots of ideas and thought and real feelings. (She and Noah Baumbach co-wrote the script.) For months now there has been loads of online chatter about how “subversive” the movie is—how it loves Barbie but also mocks her slightly, and how it makes fun of Mattel executives even though their real-life counterparts are both bankrolling the whole enterprise and hoping to make a huge profit off it. The narrative is that Gerwig has somehow pulled off a coup, by taking Mattel’s money but using it to create real art , or at least just very smart entertainment.

Read More: Our Cover Story on Barbie

It’s true that Barbie does many of the things we’ve been promised: there is much mocking and loving of Barbie, and plenty of skewering of the suits. But none of those things make it subversive. Instead, it’s a movie that’s enormously pleased with itself, one that has cut a big slice of perfectly molded plastic cake and eaten it—or pretend-eaten it—too. The things that are good about Barbie — Robbie’s buoyant, charming performance and Ryan Gosling’s go-for-broke turn as perennial boyfriend Ken, as well as the gorgeous, inventive production design—end up being steamrollered by all the things this movie is trying so hard to be. Its playfulness is the arch kind. Barbie never lets us forget how clever it’s being, every exhausting minute.

That’s a shame, because the first half-hour or so is dazzling and often genuinely funny, a vision that’s something close to (though not nearly as weird as) the committed act of imagination Robert Altman pulled off with his marvelous Popeye. First, there’s a prologue, narrated by Helen Mirren and riffing on Stanley Kubrick’s 2001, explaining the impact of early Barbie on little girls in 1959; she was an exotic and aspirational replacement for their boring old baby dolls, whose job was to train them for motherhood—Gerwig shows these little girls on a rocky beach, dashing their baby dolls to bits after they’ve seen the curvy miracle that is Barbie. Then Gerwig, production designer Sarah Greenwood, and costume designer Jacqueline Durran launch us right into Barbieland, with Robbie’s approachably glam Barbie walking us through . This is an idyllic community where all the Dream Houses are open, not only because its denizens have no shame and nothing to hide, but because homes without walls mean they can greet one another each day with the sunrise. “Hello, Barbie!” they call out cheerfully. Everyone in Barbieland—except the ill-fated pregnant Midge , based on one of Mattel’s many discontinued experiments in toy marketing—is named Barbie, and everyone has a meaningful job. There are astronaut Barbies and airline pilot Barbies, as well as an all-Barbie Supreme Court. Garbage-collector Barbies, in matching pink jumpsuits, bustle cheerfully along this hamlet’s perpetually pristine curbs. This array of Barbies is played by a selection of actors including Hari Nef, Dua Lipa, Alexandra Shipp, and Emma Mackey. The president is also Barbie—she’s played by Issa Rae. (In one of the early section’s great sight gags, she brushes her long, silky tresses with an overscale oval brush.)

barbie movie reviews no spoilers

Barbieland is a world where all the Barbies love and support one another , like a playtime version of the old-fashioned women’s college, where the students thrive because there are no men to derail their self-esteem. Robbie’s Barbie—she is known, as a way of differentiating herself from the others, as Stereotypical Barbie, because she is white and has the perfectly sculpted proportions and sunny smile of the Barbie many of us grew up with—is the center of it all. She awakens each morning and throws off her sparkly pink coverlet, her hair a swirl of perfectly curled Saran. She chooses an outfit (with meticulously coordinated accessories) from her enviable wardrobe. Her breakfast is a molded waffle that pops from the toaster unbidden; when she “drinks” from a cup of milk, it’s only pretend-drinking, because where is that liquid going to go? This becomes a recurring gag in the movie, wearing itself out slowly, but it’s delightful at first, particularly because Robbie is so game for all of it. Her eyes sparkle in that vaguely crazed Barbie-like way; her smile has a painted-on quality, but there’s warmth there, too. She steps into this role as lightly as if it were a chevron-striped one piece tailored precisely to her talents.

Barbie also has a boyfriend, one Ken of many Kens. The Kens are played by actors including Kingsley Ben-Adir and Simu Liu. But Gosling’s Ken is the best of them, stalwart, in a somewhat neutered way, with his shaggy blond hair, spray-tan bare chest, and vaguely pink lips. The Kens have no real job, other than one known as “Beach,” which involves, as you might guess, going to the beach. The Kens are generally not wanted at the Barbies’ ubiquitous dance parties—the Barbies generally prefer the company of themselves. And that’s why the Kens’ existence revolves around the Barbies . As Mirren the narrator tells us, Barbie always has a great day. “But Ken has a great day only if Barbie looks at him.” And the moment Robbie does, Gosling’s face becomes the visual equivalent of a dream Christmas morning, alight with joy and wonder.

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You couldn’t, of course, have a whole movie set in this highly artificial world. You need to have a plot, and some tension. And it’s when Gerwig airlifts us out of Barbieland and plunks us down in the real world that the movie’s problems begin. Barbie awakens one morning realizing that suddenly, nothing is right. Her hair is messy on the pillow; her waffle is shriveled and burnt. She has begun to have unbidden thoughts about death. Worst of all, her perfectly arched feet have gone flat. (The other Barbies retch in horror at the sight.) For advice, she visits the local wise woman, also known as Weird Barbie (Kate McKinnon), the Barbie who’s been “played with too hard,” as evidenced by the telltale scribbles on her face. Weird Barbie tells Robbie’s confused and forlorn Barbie that her Barbieland troubles are connected to something that’s going on out there in the Real World, a point of stress that turns out to involve a Barbie-loving mom, Gloria (America Ferrera), and her preteen daughter, Sasha (Ariana Greenblatt), who are growing apart. Barbie makes the journey to the Real World, reluctantly allowing Ken to accompany her. There, he’s wowed to learn that men make all the money and basically rule the land. While Barbie becomes more and more involved in the complexity of human problems , Ken educates himself on the wonders of the patriarchy and brings his newfound ideas back to empower the Kens, who threaten to take over the former utopia known as Barbieland.

BARBIE

By this point, Barbie has begun to do a lot more telling and a lot less showing; its themes are presented like flat-lays of Barbie outfits , delivered in lines of dialogue that are supposed to be profound but come off as lifeless. There are still some funny gags—a line about the Kens trying to win over the Barbies by playing their guitars “at” them made me snort. But the good jokes are drowned out by the many self-aware ones, like the way the Mattel executives, all men (the head boob is Will Ferrell), sit around a conference table and strategize ways to make more money off selling their idea of “female agency.”

The question we’re supposed to ask, as our jaws hang open, is “How did the Mattel pooh-bahs let these jokes through?” But those real-life execs, counting their doubloons in advance, know that showing what good sports they are will help rather than hinder them. They’re on team Barbie, after all! And they already have a long list of toy-and-movie tie-ins on the drawing board.

Meanwhile, we’re left with Barbie the movie, a mosaic of many shiny bits of cleverness with not that much to say. In the pre-release interviews they’ve given, Gerwig and Robbie have insisted their movie is smart about Barbie and what she means to women, even as Mattel executives have said they don’t see the film as being particularly feminist. And all parties have insisted that Barbie is for everyone.

Barbie probably is a feminist movie, but only in the most scattershot way. The plot hinges on Barbie leaving her fake world behind and, like Pinocchio and the Velveteen Rabbit before her, becoming “real.” Somehow this is an improvement on her old existence, but how can we be sure? The movie’s capstone is a montage of vintagey-looking home movies (Gerwig culled this footage from Barbie ’s cast and crew), a blur of joyful childhood moments and parents showing warmth and love. Is this the soon-to-be-real Barbie’s future, or are these the doll-Barbie’s memories? It’s impossible to tell. By this point, we’re supposed to be suitably immersed in the bath of warm, girls-can-do-anything fuzzies the movie is offering us. Those bold, bored little girls we saw at the very beginning of the film, dashing their baby dolls against the rocks, are nowhere in sight. In this Barbieland, their unruly desires are now just an inconvenience.

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barbie movie reviews no spoilers

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"Barbie," director and co-writer Greta Gerwig ’s summer splash, is a dazzling achievement, both technically and in tone. It’s a visual feast that succeeds as both a gleeful escape and a battle cry. So crammed with impeccable attention to detail is "Barbie” that you couldn’t possibly catch it all in a single sitting; you’d have to devote an entire viewing just to the accessories, for example. The costume design (led by two-time Oscar winner Jacqueline Durran ) and production design (led by six-time Oscar nominee Sarah Greenwood ) are constantly clever and colorful, befitting the ever-evolving icon, and cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto (a three-time Oscar nominee) gives everything a glossy gleam. It’s not just that Gerwig & Co. have recreated a bunch of Barbies from throughout her decades-long history, outfitted them with a variety of clothing and hairstyles, and placed them in pristine dream houses. It’s that they’ve brought these figures to life with infectious energy and a knowing wink.

“Barbie” can be hysterically funny, with giant laugh-out-loud moments generously scattered throughout. They come from the insularity of an idyllic, pink-hued realm and the physical comedy of fish-out-of-water moments and choice pop culture references as the outside world increasingly encroaches. But because the marketing campaign has been so clever and so ubiquitous, you may discover that you’ve already seen a fair amount of the movie’s inspired moments, such as the “ 2001: A Space Odyssey ” homage and Ken’s self-pitying ‘80s power ballad. Such is the anticipation industrial complex.

And so you probably already know the basic plot: Barbie ( Margot Robbie ), the most popular of all the Barbies in Barbieland, begins experiencing an existential crisis. She must travel to the human world in order to understand herself and discover her true purpose. Her kinda-sorta boyfriend, Ken ( Ryan Gosling ), comes along for the ride because his own existence depends on Barbie acknowledging him. Both discover harsh truths—and make new friends –along the road to enlightenment. This bleeding of stark reality into an obsessively engineered fantasy calls to mind the revelations of “ The Truman Show ” and “The LEGO Movie,” but through a wry prism that’s specifically Gerwig’s.

This is a movie that acknowledges Barbie’s unrealistic physical proportions—and the kinds of very real body issues they can cause in young girls—while also celebrating her role as a feminist icon. After all, there was an astronaut Barbie doll (1965) before there was an actual woman in NASA’s astronaut corps (1978), an achievement “Barbie” commemorates by showing two suited-up women high-fiving each other among the stars, with Robbie’s Earth-bound Barbie saluting them with a sunny, “Yay, space!” This is also a movie in which Mattel (the doll’s manufacturer) and Warner Bros. (the film’s distributor) at least create the appearance that they’re in on the surprisingly pointed jokes at their expense. Mattel headquarters features a spacious, top-floor conference room populated solely by men with a heart-shaped, “ Dr. Strangelove ”-inspired lamp hovering over the table, yet Will Ferrell ’s CEO insists his company’s “gender-neutral bathrooms up the wazoo” are evidence of diversity. It's a neat trick.

As the film's star, Margot Robbie finds just the right balance between satire and sincerity. She’s  the  perfect casting choice; it’s impossible to imagine anyone else in the role. The blonde-haired, blue-eyed stunner completely looks the part, of course, but she also radiates the kind of unflagging, exaggerated optimism required for this heightened, candy-coated world. Later, as Barbie’s understanding expands, Robbie masterfully handles the more complicated dialogue by Gerwig and her co-writer and frequent collaborator, filmmaker Noah Baumbach . From a blinding smile to a single tear and every emotion in between, Robbie finds the ideal energy and tone throughout. Her performance is a joy to behold.

And yet, Ryan Gosling is a consistent scene-stealer as he revels in Ken’s himbo frailty. He goes from Barbie’s needy beau to a swaggering, macho doofus as he throws himself headlong into how he thinks a real man should behave. (Viewers familiar with Los Angeles geography will particularly get a kick out of the places that provide his inspiration.) Gosling sells his square-jawed character’s earnestness and gets to tap into his “All New Mickey Mouse Club” musical theater roots simultaneously. He’s a total hoot.

Within the film’s enormous ensemble—where the women are all Barbies and the men are all Kens, with a couple of exceptions—there are several standouts. They include a gonzo Kate McKinnon as the so-called “Weird Barbie” who places Robbie’s character on her path; Issa Rae as the no-nonsense President Barbie; Alexandra Shipp as a kind and capable Doctor Barbie; Simu Liu as the trash-talking Ken who torments Gosling’s Ken; and America Ferrera in a crucial role as a Mattel employee. And we can’t forget Michael Cera as the one Allan, bumbling awkwardly in a sea of hunky Kens—although everyone else forgets Allan.

But while “Barbie” is wildly ambitious in an exciting way, it’s also frustratingly uneven at times. After coming on strong with wave after wave of zippy hilarity, the film drags in the middle as it presents its more serious themes. It’s impossible not to admire how Gerwig is taking a big swing with heady notions during the mindless blockbuster season, but she offers so many that the movie sometimes stops in its propulsive tracks to explain itself to us—and then explain those points again and again. The breezy, satirical edge she established off the top was actually a more effective method of conveying her ideas about the perils of toxic masculinity and entitlement and the power of female confidence and collaboration.

One character delivers a lengthy, third-act speech about the conundrum of being a woman and the contradictory standards to which society holds us. The middle-aged mom in me was nodding throughout in agreement, feeling seen and understood, as if this person knew me and was speaking directly to me. But the longtime film critic in me found this moment a preachy momentum killer—too heavy-handed, too on-the-nose, despite its many insights.  

Still, if such a crowd-pleasing extravaganza can also offer some fodder for thoughtful conversations afterward, it’s accomplished several goals simultaneously. It’s like sneaking spinach into your kid’s brownies—or, in this case, blondies.

Available in theaters on July 21st. 

Christy Lemire

Christy Lemire

Christy Lemire is a longtime film critic who has written for RogerEbert.com since 2013. Before that, she was the film critic for The Associated Press for nearly 15 years and co-hosted the public television series "Ebert Presents At the Movies" opposite Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, with Roger Ebert serving as managing editor. Read her answers to our Movie Love Questionnaire here .

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Film credits.

Barbie movie poster

Barbie (2023)

Rated PG-13 for suggestive references and brief language.

114 minutes

Margot Robbie as Barbie

Ryan Gosling as Ken

America Ferrera as Gloria

Will Ferrell as Mattel CEO

Kate McKinnon as Weird Barbie

Ariana Greenblatt as Sasha

Issa Rae as President Barbie

Rhea Perlman as Ruth Handler

Hari Nef as Doctor Barbie

Emma Mackey as Physicist Barbie

Alexandra Shipp as Writer Barbie

Michael Cera as Allan

Helen Mirren as Narrator

Simu Liu as Ken

Dua Lipa as Mermaid Barbie

John Cena as Kenmaid

Kingsley Ben-Adir as Ken

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Stream It Or Skip It: ‘Barbie’ on HBO Max, Where Greta Gerwig Makes Clever, Intelligent, Unfailingly Funny Art Out of Corporate IP

Where to stream:.

  • Barbie (2023)

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Whoopi goldberg pushes back against ‘barbie’ oscar nom outrage on ‘the view’: “not everybody gets a prize”, greta gerwig’s ‘barbie’ and ‘little women’ best director snubs are sexist, end of story, oscar nominations 2024 snubs and surprises: greta gerwig and margot robbie are out, america ferrera and annette bening are in.

The phenomenon of 2023 is Barbie ( now streaming on Max , formerly known as HBO Max, as well as VOD services like Amazon Prime Video ), and – review spoiler alert! – it deserves everything it’s achieved. Here’s what happens when capitalist megacorps like Warner Bros. and Mattel hand $130-odd million and free reign over prized intellectual property to an auteur like Greta Gerwig: $1.4 billion in worldwide ticket sales (and counting). The year’s highest-grossing movie (so far). A reinvigoration of the theatrical moviegoing experience (thanks in part to all that Barbenheimer insanity). And if it doesn’t get Oscar consideration, we should revolt (there’s plenty of room in the best picture category, remember). Did we expect this to happen? Maybe – anyone who saw Gerwig’s wonderful Little Women and Lady Bird knew for damn sure she wouldn’t make a glorified toy commercial. And somehow, she and life partner/co-writer Noah Baumbach got away with making a fascinating, trippy and hysterically funny existential-feminist movie about what it means to be human. 

BARBIE : STREAM IT OR SKIP IT?

The Gist: Barbie opens with an utterly nuts homage to 2001: A Space Odyssey , narrated by Helen Mirren. It shows us little girls smashing baby dolls as Mirren ruminates on the very idea of dollhood itself – its origins, what it symbolizes, how it reflects humanity, stuff like that. (Did we see this coming? No!) Then we get a detailed tour of Barbieland, a pink-soaked plastic meta-reality run by numerous iterations of Barbie: doctor Barbie, president Barbie, astronaut Barbie, etc. It’s a feminist utopia where every night is girl’s night, and the Kens are essentially second-class citizens. Here we meet Stereotypical Barbie (Margot Robbie), who, for simplicity’s sake, we’ll just refer to as “Barbie” from here on out. She’s got the Dream House and the pink vintage Corvette and the impeccable wardrobe and the undying attention of Beach Ken (Ryan Gosling), heretofore simply “Ken,” whose happiness depends wholly upon whether Barbie notices him or not. That night Barbie hangs with Ken but pushes him away – he asks to spend the night, even if he’s not sure exactly why; one assumes a lack of genitalia has something to do with that – so she and her female friends can have a heavily choreographed dance party, during which Barbie suddenly, in perhaps the greatest record-scratch fzwoop! moment in cinematic history, blurts out, “You guys ever think about dying?”

What , we’re inevitably thinking, has just entered this plastic woman’s head? She shakes off the existential dread and goes to bed and wakes up and now everything is, well, off. Not quite the same. Not quite right. The perfection of her usual routine is upset – a burnt waffle, the shower shoots water instead of nothing, stuff like that. Then her feet go flat, instead of sculpted for high heels. And what’s this on her thigh? It’s a weird mark. It wasn’t there before. Curious. Our Barbie, it seems, has been cursed with sudden self-awareness, and now she has many questions. She calls upon the wisdom of Weird Barbie (Kate McKinnon), who we learn is the Barbie who was “played with too hard,” and now has crayon scribbles on her face, and uneven, chopped-up hair, and is always doing the splits. (I’m giggling just typing this.) Weird Barbie tells our Barbie two things: That mark on her leg is, gasp, cellulite. And in order to repair a sudden rip in space-time that correlates to Barbie’s existential crisis, she must venture out of Barbieland to the real world, and seek out the child who’s playing with her in order to get some answers.

So off Barbie goes, not realizing that Ken is stowing away in the backseat. He really really really wants to tag along, because he’s needy and hilarious and dopey and just wants to spend some time with his dream girl. She sighs and agrees. When they arrive in Los Angeles – well, what would you expect if you journeyed from a perfect utopia to the USA circa 2023? It’d look utterly and completely effed . At first, they’re fascinated, but soon enough, Barbie feels like she’s being stared at with an undercurrent of violence, something that Ken, notably, doesn’t sense. Yes indeed, that’s patriarchy in the air! Barbie soon finds her owner, a sullen tween named Sasha (Ariana Greenblatt), the daughter of Gloria (America Ferrara), a Mattel employee and typically frazzled how-do-I-do-it-all American woman who unwittingly caused the aforementioned space-time fissure when she doodled a design for – get this – Irrepressible Thoughts of Death Barbie. You won’t be surprised to learn that Mattel is run by a boardroom full of men led by a CEO (Will Ferrell) who’s more of a goofy doofus than evil, because this movie can’t piss off the suits too much. Meanwhile, Ken decides that what he has to do is take everything he learned in the real world and sneak off to install the patriarchy in Barbieland, which he does, and now Barbie has a major f—ing problem to deal with. 

What Movies Will It Remind You Of?: I haven’t enjoyed this much plaything-inspired existential philosophy since Forky became self-aware in Toy Story 4 . (For more on Barbie, consult your school library! Or watch the Barbie episode of The Toys That Made Us on Netflix.)

Performance Worth Watching: Robbie puts in incredible work, holding all this lunacy together. Ferrara nails the inspiring centerpiece monologue. Gosling’s performance is exquisitely modulated. McKinnon steals the hell out of her scenes. So take your pick. 

Memorable Dialogue: Am I hearing it correctly or do the terrifically dimwitted Kens, in their big showstopping musical number, sing the lyric, “My name is Ken, and so am I”? 

Sex and Skin: We do not get to see any formless lumps of flesh beneath any of the Barbies’ or Kens’ clothing. Seems like a line that shouldn’t be crossed.

Our Take: Barbie is a mindf—. A mindf— that carries two thoughts in its head at once, specifically, the problematic nature of Barbie dolls representing female perfection, and the groundbreaking women-can-do-anything-they-want empowerment message that the toyline asserted (and exploited for massive profit, another obstacle Gerwig fearlessly tackles). It’s a movie about the brand, sure, but it’s foremost about womanhood and its role in a man’s man’s man’s man’s man’s man’s world, as well as grander ideas about the nature of identity and self, about impermanence and immortality: She is Barbie. She is a woman. She is strong. She is more than human. She is a toy. She is a brand. She is an icon. She is forever . 

But this Barbie? She’s suddenly fallible. Burdened by Cartesian thought. Subject to the harshness of reality. Newly aware of the complexities of her existence, which now straddles an idealist playland and good old complicated Planet Earth. Gerwig’s aim isn’t emasculation, as some ninnies proclaim, or even necessarily satire or social criticism. Her goal, I’d assert, was to make a Barbie movie that doesn’t suck. I don’t mean to be glib or reductionist, but the mere notion of a movie based on a popular toyline sucks. And it’s on the studio and producers and writers and director to dig themselves out of that deep conceptual hole, which is typically a grave for good ideas, because god forbid anyone ever consider throwing shade at The Brand, or giving half a sliver of an implication that the toy isn’t something that will make every kid happy forever. Barbie is a marvel of the modern world because somehow, Gerwig managed to talk surely nervous boardroom-dwellers and blue-chip-watchers into letting her take a high-profile commercial product and make art out of it. (The added layer of irony? It made everybody hundreds of millions of dollars.)

And so Gerwig made a Barbie movie that’s funny, stays true to the manner in which young girls play with dolls, and playfully-but-seriously ponders the verisimilitude of modern womanhood. It’s driven by ideas, and, beneath the impeccable art direction and razor-sharp writing and on-point performances (and our gales of laughter), the movie has more going on than most high-concept sci-fi or high-minded Oscar bait. At times, it’s a blindingly bright musical, or a grand farce, or a headtrip, or a delicious skewering of the transcendent awfulness that is Matchbox Twenty, but its pictures and words and subtext always function in awesome lockstep. It’s the rare film that’s as intelligent as it is entertaining.

Our Call: Barbie may be an all-timer. STREAM the living hell out of IT. 

John Serba is a freelance writer and film critic based in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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Barbie is every bit as good as you wanted it to be

Here's our spoiler-free take on one of the most anticipated movies of the year.

preview for Greta Gerwig shares how Margot Robbie brought Barbie to life

Margot Robbie takes on the role of the OG Barbie as she was born to, although nobody is having more fun than Ryan Gosling, who is absolutely hysterical as Ken. This pitch-perfect casting is top of the movie's many hits, alongside its fabulous soundtrack, killer pink-themed art design, and self-conscious sense of humour.

Directed by Greta Gerwig ( Lady Bird , Little Women ) and co-written with her partner, filmmaker Noah Baumbach ( White Noise ), Barbie is a delight. Its mere existence as a big-budget, star-studded, female-focused Hollywood comedy is almost a miracle – even if it might be a little bit too fabricated for its own good.

hari nef, alexandra ship, sharon rooney, ana cruz kayne, emma mackey, barbie

The movie follows Barbie on her best day ever, which is every day in Barbie Land, a country where women are the workforce and men just wander around the beach trying to snatch Barbies' attention. One day, Robbie's Barbie finds herself suddenly thinking about death. Her usually high-heel-shaped feet have flattened, she spotted some cellulitis in her thigh and she's having depressing thoughts as she questions the meaning of her plastic life.

Guided by the outcast Weird Barbie (played by Kate McKinnon), Barbie decides to find the root of her problems by travelling to the real world, where she thinks her kind has long fixed everything in women's lives.

However, after following the pink brick road — the references to The Wizard of Oz are abundant in the story — she realises human reality is much more complicated than life in Barbie Land.

Barbie tastes the unfair shame of being harassed ("I feel self-conscious but it's myself I'm conscious of?" she says), deals with some nasty Mattel executives led by Will Ferrell, who want to put her back into a box, and finds out the doll's legacy is actually seen as antiquated and misogynistic by younger generations. Not the best day ever, really.

margot robbie, barbie

Related: Best Movies of 2023: 20 recent movies you should watch

Barbie's existential crisis is the emotional core of the story, while Ryan Gosling's Ken is the explosive backbone turning the movie into the year's most sensational comedy.

The character is pure stupidity as he 'beaches' with Simu Liu's Ken, sings sad songs shirtless under the moonlight, and tries to find himself after living his whole existence in Barbie's shadow. Gosling's performance skills are first-class in the glorious, Singing in the Rain -inspired musical numbers throughout the movie. His Ken-ergy is flawless, his commitment to the role unmatched.

Honestly, everybody in Barbie seems to be having the best time, and it's positively contagious.

margot robbie, ryan gosling, barbie

Greta Gerwig finds the right balance between nailing the satiric take on toxic masculinity and showing a genuine, unconditional love for Barbie's history and her creator Ruth Handler, who has a special role in the movie (played by Rhea Perlman). It's not an easy feat, but it still feels effortless.

As expected of Gerwig, relationships between mothers and daughters are a big theme in the same vein as Lady Bird , while Little Women 's inspiring messages about women finding their path in a patriarchal world resonate with this layered take on Barbie.

The director builds up the story from a collective feminine imagination where Legally Blonde , Clueless and even BBC's Pride and Prejudice TV adaptation are unmissable references.

ryan gosling, margot robbie, barbie

It's filled with countless movie references, from The Matrix to 2001: A Space Odyssey, and blessed with a gargantuan cast including Issa Rae, Alexandra Shipp, Michael Cera, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Hari Nef, Sex Education 's Emma Mackey and Ncuti Gatwa, singer Dua Lipa, and more. Barbie is Gerwig's biggest, most demanding movie to date, as the Oscar-nominated director continues to explore what it means to be a woman in the world.

Granted, Barbie 's take on feminist theory is fairly basic, which is not a problem since this is a comedic-driven parody about a little girls' doll — we're not looking for a PhD dissertation on gender studies.

As the movie argues, we shouldn't ask women to always be perfect, accomplished or extraordinary, and we shouldn't ask a female-led, female-focused movie to be more than a highly amusing, extremely clever comedy obsessed with colour pink.

issa rae, barbie

Ending up with a version of Feminism for Dummies wouldn't be such a bad thing considering the state of the world sometimes, but Barbie tries to be more than that. The movie makes convincing and smart points not only about femininity, but especially about the foundations of toxic masculinity and how it operates in our day-to-day lives.

Funny stereotypes aside — jokes about Zack Snyder's Justice League will cut deep for some — Barbie argues maybe it's the Kens who need to evolve.

Kudos to Mattel for allowing such a free-spirited, unfiltered tale around their precious doll, even at the expense of turning their fictional all-male executive board into the ultimate representation of how businessmen vampirise women's hopes and dreams.

All in all, viewers can read as much as they want into what Barbie is trying to say about the world and the everlasting — and somehow outmoded — battle of the sexes, but there is one indisputable fact: Barbie is terrifically entertaining. And that's ken-ough.

4 stars

Barbie is out now in cinemas.

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Deputy Movies Editor, Digital Spy  Mireia (she/her) has been working as a movie and TV journalist for over seven years, mostly for the Spanish magazine Fotogramas . 

Her work has been published in other outlets such as Esquire and Elle in Spain, and WeLoveCinema in the UK. 

She is also a published author, having written the essay Biblioteca Studio Ghibli: Nicky, la aprendiz de bruja about Hayao Miyazaki's Kiki's Delivery Service .    During her years as a freelance journalist and film critic, Mireia has covered festivals around the world, and has interviewed high-profile talents such as Kristen Stewart, Ryan Gosling, Jake Gyllenhaal and many more. She's also taken part in juries such as the FIPRESCI jury at Venice Film Festival and the short film jury at Kingston International Film Festival in London.     Now based in the UK, Mireia joined Digital Spy in June 2023 as Deputy Movies Editor. 

.css-15yqwdi:before{top:0;width:100%;height:0.25rem;content:'';position:absolute;background-image:linear-gradient(to right,#51B3E0,#51B3E0 2.5rem,#E5ADAE 2.5rem,#E5ADAE 5rem,#E5E54F 5rem,#E5E54F 7.5rem,black 7.5rem,black);} Barbie

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Greta Gerwig’s bubblegum-fun-cum-feminist-thesis indulges Ken but pulls its punches as it trips between satire and advert

A re Barbie dolls demeaning or empowering? Director Greta Gerwig and her co-writer Noah Baumbach opt for the latter theory in this beamingly affectionate and deliriously pink-themed fantasy comedy-adventure produced by Barbie’s corporate manufacturer Mattel, and starring Margot Robbie whose own superhuman blond beauty makes her the only possible casting as Barbie herself. It is maybe down to Gerwig’s confidence and generosity as a feminist film-maker that she gives all the best lines to Ryan Gosling, who is allowed to steal the whole film playing Barbie’s non-genitaled boyfriend, Ken.

Scene-stealing … Ryan Gosling as Ken in Barbie.

Yet the film has to keep second-guessing and pre-empting the anti-Barbie impulse with a stream of knowing references and self-aware meta-gags, which acknowledge that, sure, yes, Barbie’s uber-blond-slim persona is arguably conformist and oppressive, but we know all that, we’re past all that; these charges are redeemed by Barbie’s ethereal innocence and there is in any case now a range of Barbies, diverse in terms of ethnicity and body-image – among whom Robbie is first among equals as Stereotypical Barbie – including a wheelchair-using Barbie. But even this is hedged with a quirky admission that the real world that imposed these changes is still itself imperfect and tokenist.

The result is a good-natured but self-conscious movie, whose comedy is rooted in that very self-consciousness, often funny, occasionally very funny, but sometimes also somehow demure and inhibited, as if the urge to be funny can only be mean and satirical. And so often Barbie winds up playing the bland comic foil to comic characters like the outrageous metrosexual Ken, obsessed with his “beach” habitat and longing for the patriarchy, and to Weird Barbie, the Barbie who has been abusively over-played-with and crayoned-over, always dishevelled on the floor doing the splits, played here by Kate McKinnon.

We’re past all that … Kate McKinnon as Weird Barbie.

Barbie herself is living her best life in her perfect Barbie world, partying of an evening with Barbies who are political leaders, supreme court judges and Nobel laureates (including Dua Lipa and Issa Rae), and a castrato chorus of beach-bunny Ken clones (including John Cena and Simu Liu) and Ken’s gloomy beta-male mate Allan (Michael Cera) when suddenly she is assailed with the terrible thought of dying.

Weird Barbie tells her she must journey to the real world outside to sort this out and so she and Ken arrive in scuzzy Santa Monica in time-honoured fish-out-of-water style to discover that this existential anxiety has been psycho-cosmically transmitted to her from Gloria, a former Barbie owner, now a hardworking mom who is an assistant in the Mattel empire: a nice performance from America Ferrera. Gloria has a whip-smart, discontented teen daughter Sasha (Ariana Greenblatt) and those squeamish about spoilers or disloyalty might want to look away before the revelation that Sasha starts out fiercely and boldly critical of Barbie before being tamely converted. It is with this conversion that politics is definitively banished.

Ken is thrilled by male dominance in this real world and tries replicating it back in Barbieland, to Barbie’s dismay. Will Ferrell plays the Mattel CEO and chair of the all-male board and Rhea Perlman has a cameo as Ruth Handler, the creator of Barbie who reportedly named the doll after her daughter Barbara. (The movie does not acknowledge the alternative theory, that Barbie was named after Barbara Ryan, wife of Mattel’s chief designer Jack Ryan whose life-story gives us an actual #Barbenheimer connection: before designing Barbie for Mattel, he designed missiles for the Pentagon as an employee of aerospace giant Raytheon, an important player in the postwar military-industrial complex.)

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This movie is perhaps a giant two-hour commercial for a product, although no more so than The Lego Movie, yet Barbie doesn’t go for the comedy jugular anywhere near as gleefully as that. In interviews about Barbie, Gerwig has referenced Milton and Powell and Pressburger: judging from this, I would say the influences are Toy Story, Pinocchio and Clueless. It’s entertaining and amiable, but with a softcore pulling of punches: lightly ironised, celebratory nostalgia for a toy that still exists right now.

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“Barbie” Is Brilliant, Beautiful, and Fun as Hell

barbie movie reviews no spoilers

By Richard Brody

A photo of Margot Robbie as Barbie in Greta Gerwigs 2023 film “Barbie.”

It’s unfortunate that fantasy has glutted the movies and tarnished the genre’s name with the commercial excesses of superhero stories and C.G.I. animation, because fantasy is a far more severe test of directorial art than realism. This is, first off, because the boundless possibilities of the fantastical both allow for and require a filmmaker’s comprehensive creativity. But, crucially, fantasy is also a vision of reality—the subjective truth of filmmakers’ inner life, the world as it appears in their mind’s eye. The great directors of fantasy are the ones who make explicit the connection between their fantasy worlds and lived reality, as Wes Anderson recently did in “ Asteroid City ,” and as Greta Gerwig has done spectacularly in her new film, “Barbie.” Unlike Anderson, who has spent his entire career on the far side of the imagination, Gerwig’s previous features as solo director, “ Lady Bird ” and “ Little Women ”—both ardently crafted, both modestly literal—did little to foreshadow the overwhelming outburst of inventive energy that makes “Barbie” such a thrilling experience. Though “Lady Bird,” Gerwig’s breakthrough feature, is a fictionalized story of her own adolescence, her family life, and her home town, “Barbie”—yes, a movie about a doll made under the aegis of its manufacturer, Mattel —is the far more personal film. It’s a film that’s energized throughout by a sense of artistic freedom and uninhibited creative passion greater than what Gerwig has brought to even her previous projects made outside the ostensible constraints of studio filmmaking.

The underlying subject of “Barbie” is how to play with Barbie dolls and why. Playing with Barbies, after all, is the D.I.Y. version of adaptation, the enactment in private of the kind of free and wild play that Gerwig (who wrote the script with her romantic and creative partner, Noah Baumbach ) enacts in the movie. “Barbie” is about the intellectual demand and emotional urgency of making preëxisting subjects one’s own, and it advocates for imaginative infidelity, the radical off-label manipulation of existing intellectual property. Moreover, it presents such acts of reinterpreting familiar subjects, as a crucial form of self-analysis, a way to explore one’s own self-image and to confront the prejudices and inequities built into prevailing, top-down interpretations of them. “Barbie,” in other words, is a film of the politics of culture and, by extension, of the need for a creative rebellion to reëstrange the familiar for the sake of social change.

The movie begins with one of the most ingenious parodies I’ve seen in a while, an origin story of the Barbie doll based on the opening sequence of “ 2001: A Space Odyssey .” A group of girls is stranded in a barren primordial landscape. A voice-over narration (by Helen Mirren) explains that, since the beginning of time, they had only baby dolls to play with, leaving them nothing to imagine themselves as except mothers. Then came Barbie (Margot Robbie), who, with her many varieties and guises, offered the girls (who now smash their baby dolls to pieces) the chance to imagine themselves as astronauts, doctors, judges, even President, and thus heralded a future of equality and opportunity. It’s in the abyss between this promised utopia and the world as we know it, between the merchandising of professional feminism and the endurance of patriarchal realities, that the movie is set.

“Barbie” contains a potent paradox that is fundamental to its effervescent delights. A single frame of the film packs such profuse and exquisite detail—of costume and settings, gestures and diction—that it’s impossible to enumerate the plethora of inventions and decisions that bring it to life. With its frenetic pace and its grand-scale, wide-ranging inspirations, it plays like a live-action cartoon, and captures the anything-is-possible spirit of classic Looney Tunes better than any other film I’ve seen. Yet its whimsical plot is constructed with a dramatic logic that manages to transform phantasmagorical leaps into persuasive consequences, with the result that the details of the story seem utterly inseparable from, and continuous with, the riotously ornamental visual realms that it sets into motion.

The driving conceit is that Barbie comes to life and enters the real world, but Gerwig grounds that transformation ingeniously by giving Barbie a prior life of her own as a doll. The Barbie played by Robbie, who’s called Stereotypical Barbie, lives in Barbieland along with all the other Barbies who have been put on the market, whether Astronaut Barbie or Doctor Barbie or President Barbie, as well as Barbies of a wide range of ethnicities and body types, all named Barbie, all residing in doll houses, all calling to one another every bright and sunny morning, “Hi, Barbie!,” and offering identical side-to-side hand-wave greetings. Stereotypical Barbie drinks imaginary milk poured from a carton to a cup, eats a plastic waffle that pops from a toaster as a perfectly shaped dollop of butter lands atop it, and—because, as the narrator explains, Barbies can be carried and placed anywhere—glides from her balcony through the air to behind the wheel of her pink fifties-style Corvette convertible.

Stereotypical Barbie has a stereotypical suitor, the hunky blond Ken (Ryan Gosling)—one of many in Barbieland—who courts her with a droll sexual ignorance to match hers. There’s a strong gay subtext to the movie’s well-coiffured and accessorized Kens; in one scene, Ken and another Ken (Simu Liu) get into a dispute and threaten each other to “beach you off.” (A nerdy friend of the Kens, called Allan, played by Michael Cera, is the only non-himbo around.) The narrator makes the distinction—one that proves to be of great narrative significance—that for Barbie every day is a good day, whereas for Ken a day is good only when Barbie looks at him. Ken takes awkward pains to get Barbie to look, but she’s content in her Barbie-centric world. In lieu of a date, she invites him to a girls’-night bash at her house—the best party ever, but then, they all are—complete with a whirlwind-spectacular dance sequence. In the middle of the festivities, though, Barbie embarrassingly blurts out her own sudden premonition of death.

Something troubling is disturbing the pristine perfection of Barbie’s permalife in Barbieland, and she consults the closest thing to a troubled outcast in her midst, Weird Barbie (Kate McKinnon), to find out what’s going on. Weird Barbie has a punk haircut, a malformed body, and something like face tattoos—the result, it is said, of a human who played with her “too hard.” To get to the source of her disturbance, Barbie will have to make passage to the human world and find her own owner, whose play has perhaps left an emotional mark just as Weird Barbie’s has left a physical one. Travelling between Barbieland and the human world involves transit via, among other Mattel-certified vehicles, Barbie’s convertible, a space rocket, a tandem bicycle, and a Volkswagen camper van. Ken stows away on Barbie’s journey, and the duo eventually lands on the beach in—where else?—Los Angeles, another land of artifices, where Barbie quickly has her illusions burst.

In L.A., Barbie encounters such human-world phenomena as catcalling, old age, anxiety, and the social dynamics of real-life girls, most notably a young high-school intellectual named Sasha (Ariana Greenblatt), who calls Barbie a “bimbo,” a menace to feminism, even a “Fascist.” Barbie finds her way into Mattel headquarters, where the C.E.O. (Will Ferrell) wants to trap and twist-tie her in a display box. Instead, Barbie escapes, but, while she’s on the run, Ken—who’s read up in the school library about patriarchy—heads to Barbieland and exports the notion there. When Barbie returns home, she finds it transformed into a manosphere, full of Kens slaking grudges against Barbies and Barbies content with subservience to Kens, and she has to plot to restore it to its ostensible original form as a feminist paradise. Spoiler alert: the Ken-centric patriarchy that Barbie finds at home is both appalling and hilarious, with lots of horses (“man extenders,” Ken calls them) and ardent guitar playing “at” Barbie, especially of the Matchbox Twenty song “Push,” which the Kens have adopted as a male anthem.

The trait that enables Barbie to fight to take back Barbieland is the very weirdness that she’d sought to cure. It’s the “hard” play of a human owner—the use of Barbie as an avatar of a real person’s emotional crises—that gives Stereotypical Barbie the perspective to see what’s wrong with Barbieland, the wiles to take action to reclaim it for herself and the other Barbies, and the open-mindedness to see that she herself is in need of personal change. The uninhibited expression of Barbie’s human has taught Barbie, above all, the concept of freedom; and it’s no spoiler to note that the concept, here, meshes with an existentialist tradition that links such freedom to the inevitability of death. (In a magnificent meta-touch, Barbie has an encounter with the creator of Barbie, Ruth Handler, who, in real life, died in 2002; here, she’s played by Rhea Perlman.)

Far from being a feature-length commercial for Barbie, Gerwig’s movie puts in bright critical light the trouble with Barbie’s pure, blank perfection. Instead of projecting their own imperfections or thoughts onto the doll, girls have been socialized to strive for an impossible doll-like perfection in their own lives. Barbie can be anything in Barbieland—a doctor, a President, an astronaut—but only because Barbieland is a frictionless Brigadoon. There’s no Fox News in Barbieland, no political demagogy, no religion, no culture. Any girl who plays with Barbie and imagines that she can do anything will discover, eventually, that she’s been the victim of a noxious fantasy. Playing weird with Barbie means ascribing the tangled terms of one’s own environment to Barbieland, one’s own conflicts to Barbie. It means turning Barbie human—into a character whom a child can use to give voice to an inner life, in the second person, when her first person feels stifled or repressed.

“Ordinary”: pay attention to the arrival, in “Barbie,” of that word, which reverberates like a tuning fork through the entire story, conveying longing for the day when a woman’s life doesn’t demand heroic struggle against societal limitations and contradictory demands. (The movie features a fervent monologue on the subject, built of familiar talking points that are energized by the fast and furious indignation of the speaker, Sasha’s mother, a Mattel employee played by America Ferrera.) The idea inflects Gerwig’s aesthetic, too, in a way that’s made clear, again, in the contrast between her filmmaking and that of Wes Anderson, the current cinema’s preëminent stylist. Anderson’s films borrow copiously from pop culture without making films of pop culture; his rigorous visual compositions set the action at a contemplative distance that keeps one eye on history and the other on the future. Gerwig, by contrast, is out to conquer the moment, and her visual compositions reflect this immediacy. Her images (with cinematography by Rodrigo Prieto) offer, in effect, a mighty sense of style without a corresponding sense of form: they teem and overflow, because they’re meant not to be limited to the screen but to burst out and fill the theatre and take their place in the world at large. She doesn’t borrow pop culture ironically; she embraces it passionately and directly, in order to transform it, and thereby to transform viewers’ relationship to it and to render that relationship active, critical, non-nostalgic. Her art of reinterpreting society’s looming, shiny cultural objects, in the interest of progress, dramatizes the connection between playing in a child’s doll house and on the big screens of the world. ♦

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By Inkoo Kang

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By Katy Waldman

Barbie Movie

Barbie Movie Review [Spoiler Free]

Barbie’s impact endures and even manages to touch the hearts of those who may not have grown up with the iconic doll.

As a young girl, pink was a colour I couldn’t stand and playing with ‘girly’ dolls was the last thing I wanted to do.

Barbie Movie

You see, I was a tomboy through and through, having spent most of my formative years around four bachelor uncles. While my friends had Barbies, I had the Power Rangers and instead of wanting to become a successful woman one day, I only had one goal in mind: to become the next Red Ranger.

Fast forward three decades of coming into myself and a live-action Barbie film later, my entire viewpoint has changed and the name Barbie etched into my soul.

That’s the impact the Barbie film, directed by Greta Gerwig, has had on me.

barbie movie reviews no spoilers

Barbie follows the titular character (or more specifically known as Stereotypical Barbie), played by Margot Robbie, as she embarks on a journey of self-discovery upon realising that there’s more to the world than the repetitive lifestyle of Barbie Land. In joining her on this journey, we also see Ken, played by Ryan Gosling, discovering himself as more than just Barbie’s boyfriend.

Narrated by Helen Mirren, the fantasy, musical-comedy film is filled with fantastic pacing and a story in which everyone, regardless of background, can appreciate and enjoy. Of course, the film also manages to cleverly depict the trials and tribulations of being a woman in a male dominated society, while also portraying the basic essence of manhood, in a tasteful way.

Barbie Movie

In many ways Barbie isn’t just a film about dealing with an existential crisis after realising that life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. It manages to truly personify the very essence of what it means to be human and the stereotypical roles the patriarchal society has given to both men and women, the latter of which is EPICALLY portrayed through the monologue delivered by America Ferrera’s character. The clink of glasses in the audience as soon as she finished only reinforced the notion that this is truly how we feel in today’s world, living with the unrealistic and unachievable expectations that have been placed upon us.

While we see this as commonplace in the real world, which somehow manages to function, living according to one ideology and an inflexible set of rules completely breaks down the perfect haven that is Barbie Land, regardless of whether the importance is placed on men or women.

Barbie Movie

The way in which this teaches us about the need for balance and understanding that perfection need not be attained in order for one to be worthy is so cleverly told in Barbie .

There’s so much more that can be unpacked in terms of how the story of Barbie was told, but I’d be giving away too much. Just believe me when I say that you need to experience this on your own to truly appreciate the underlying meanings and messages. Plus, there were a good number of laugh out loud moments that you just HAVE to enjoy on your own as well.

barbie movie reviews no spoilers

For me, personally, the entire story and the way in which it was crafted speaks of several important things but the most important being empowerment.

The main character in the film may be Stereotypical Barbie, but ‘Barbie’ is so much more. It isn’t just one single doll with one set of characteristics. No, ‘Barbie’ is more than a doll. It’s a concept and one that can be anyone and everyone, inspiring and encouraging young girls to dream and be whatever they choose to be. It is this aspect of Barbie and the film that I truly appreciated. After all, teaching the younger generation to pursue their dreams and passions is what I do as a diversity advocate.

barbie movie reviews no spoilers

It is this idea that Barbie can be anything and represent everyone that really turned me into a fan. Can you believe that the little girl who refused to wear pink now rocks pink nails and dresses from time to time? I suspect that’s because that little girl grew up realising that, like Barbie, she doesn’t need to be perfect and she can be whatever she chooses to be.

Barbie was more than just its story though. The casting for the film was spot on and the cast played their roles perfectly, with a brilliant dynamic, for the most part, between their relationships with one another.

Barbie

More so than Margot Robbie, I actually believe Ryan Gosling stole the show with his depiction of a lovestruck, yet, unassuming Ken, who believed he didn’t have an identity beyond Barbie (because let’s face it, we all helped create that persona for Ken, who’s just, Barbie’s boyfriend and nothing more).

The way in which Gosling portrayed Ken and his character development throughout the film was simply genius and if he doesn’t get an award for his performance, I think I may just riot.

barbie movie reviews no spoilers

Of course, there were also more stereotypical performances and less developed character dynamics that I wished were given more time, such as that between America Ferrera’s character and her daughter, played by Ariana Greenblatt.

When it came to visuals, aesthetics and music, oh you can bet that Barbie had that all down pat and did so in a way that made you feel like migrating to Barbie Land. The way in which the visuals and aesthetics tied in with the story, helped to truly sell the concept of the contrast between the perfect lollipop haven of Barbie Land and the rather mundane, almost greyscale world of reality.

Barbie

This, of course, further helped drive the notion that the perfect life isn’t actually a life at all, which is a concept that is quite thought provoking for a musical-comedy.

Then comes the soundtrack, and what a soundtrack it is. Between the film’s soundtrack and musical numbers, it was difficult to not want to jump up and start to boogie alongside the characters on screen. The entire suite of music helped provide the pacing of the film and gave it that extra something to leave an impact on our minds.

Barbie Movie

I definitely left the cinema wanting to go out and dance.

Without saying much more in order to avoid spoiling the film, Barbie was simply magical. It will not only leave you both laughing and in tears but have you really thinking about how human society works. Ultimately, it even helps answer that age old question you’ve been asking yourself for years, “what is my purpose?” Trust me, even before watching this film, I think you already knew the answer all along.

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2023, Comedy, 1h 54m

What to know

Critics Consensus

Barbie is a visually dazzling comedy whose meta humor is smartly complemented by subversive storytelling. Read critic reviews

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Clever, funny, and poignant, Barbie is an entertaining movie with a great overall message. Read audience reviews

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Barbie videos, barbie   photos.

To live in Barbie Land is to be a perfect being in a perfect place. Unless you have a full-on existential crisis. Or you're a Ken.

Rating: PG-13 (Suggestive References|Brief Language)

Genre: Comedy

Original Language: English

Director: Greta Gerwig

Producer: David Heyman , Margot Robbie , Tom Ackerley , Robbie Brenner

Writer: Greta Gerwig , Noah Baumbach

Release Date (Theaters): Jul 21, 2023  wide

Release Date (Streaming): Sep 12, 2023

Box Office (Gross USA): $636.2M

Runtime: 1h 54m

Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures

Production Co: NB/GG Pictures, Heyday Films, LuckyChap Entertainment, Mattel

Sound Mix: Dolby Digital

Cast & Crew

Margot Robbie

Ryan Gosling

America Ferrera

Kate McKinnon

Rhea Perlman

Will Ferrell

Michael Cera

Ariana Greenblatt

Ana Cruz Kayne

Emma Mackey

Alexandra Shipp

Kingsley Ben-Adir

Ncuti Gatwa

Scott Evans

Jamie Demetriou

Mattel Executive

Connor Swindells

Aaron Dinkins

Greta Gerwig

Screenwriter

Noah Baumbach

David Heyman

Tom Ackerley

Robbie Brenner

Executive Producer

Richard Dickson

Michael Sharp

Josey McNamara

Courtenay Valenti

Toby Emmerich

Rodrigo Prieto

Cinematographer

Film Editing

Mark Ronson

Original Music

Andrew Wyatt

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‘Barbie’ Ending Explained: What Happens To Barbie, Ken & More

Barbie goes on an emotional adventure to find herself in Greta Gerwig's 'Barbie.' So, how does the highly-anticipated movie end? Let's break down what went down in Barbie Land. Spoilers!

Margot Robbie

When the movie begins, Stereotypical Barbie’s life is perfect in Barbie Land — until it isn’t. When she starts having thoughts of death, flat feet, and cellulite, she goes to Weird Barbie ( Kate McKinnon ) for answers. Weird Barbie advises Barbie ( Margot Robbie ) that she has to go to the real world and find the girl who’s playing with her. Barbie has to help the girl to help herself and fix the portal from Barbie Land to the real world.

Margot Robbie

Barbie heads to the real world with Ken ( Ryan Gosling ), and they discover that everything is the complete opposite of Barbie Land. Ken is quickly introduced to toxic masculinity as Barbie gets an education as to how Barbies and women are perceived here. This male-dominated world is not what Barbie expected.

Barbie quickly realizes that America Ferrera’s Gloria is the one playing with her, not her teen daughter, Sasha ( Ariana Greenblatt). Gloria’s memories are the ones Barbie has been seeing in her mind. While on the run from Mattel, Barbie takes Gloria and Sasha to Barbie Land.

When Barbie gets there, Ken’s already gotten a headstart in introducing the patriarchy to Barbie Land. The Barbies are fully controlled by the Kens and have no defense against the patriarchy. The Kens are taking over and undoing all of the Barbies’ progress.

Barbie believes all hope is lost. She doesn’t feel good enough for anyone or anything. It’s Gloria who encourages Barbie to pick herself up. In a game-changing monologue, Gloria explains how women have always had to fight to succeed in a world filled with misogyny. Women always feel like they have to be extraordinary. But simply being a woman — even an ordinary woman — is already extraordinary.

Barbie

Gloria’s speech snaps Barbie out of her funk. Barbie is determined to stop the Kens from changing the constitution and ruining Barbie Land forever. Gloria’s reality check is the key to un-brainwashing the other Barbies. As Barbie, Gloria, Sasha, and Allan bring the Barbies back to their side, they slowly turn the Kens against each other. This results in an all-out Ken war on the beach.

The Barbies take back Barbie Land. All of the Barbies’ autonomy is restored. Despite all the chaos he caused, Barbie comforts Ken after Kendom goes down in flames. Ken admits he actually became “uninterested” in the patriarchy when he realized it wasn’t just about horses.

Barbie apologizes to Ken for taking him for granted. However, she still doesn’t feel the same way about him. Ken is devastated, to say the least. He believes that he only exists because of her. Barbie urges Ken to discover who he truly is without worrying about her. Just worry about Ken.

Despite saving Barbie Land, Barbie still doesn’t feel like she belongs. Gloria is curious about how Barbie’s story ends. “I don’t think I have an ending,” Barbie admits. Barbie shares a moment with Ruth Handler ( Rhea Perlman ), the inventor of Barbie. Ruth admits she created Barbie so she wouldn’t have an ending. Barbie is meant to keep inspiring.”Humans only have one ending. Ideas live forever,” Ruth says.

Margot Robbie

Barbie reveals she wants to be a part of the people that make meaning. She wants to become human. Ruth makes sure this is really what Barbie wants. Barbie assures her that she’s ready to take charge of her own destiny and discover her true purpose in life — on her own terms.

The final moments of Barbie feature Gloria and Sasha dropping Barbie off at an office building. It seems like Barbie’s going in for a job interview, but she’s actually there to see a gynecologist for the first time. Welcome to womanhood! She’s going by the name Barbara, after Ruth’s daughter. Let the sequel talk begin!

Does Barbie Have A Post-Credits Scene?

There is no Barbie post-credits scene. However, this is a fun credits reel, filled with epic Barbie doll throwbacks.

Let’s Never Stop Questioning What Barbie Is Really About

As the secrets of the film are slowly stripped away, there’s a case for maintaining the debate over Barbie ’s true intentions.

ryan gosling and margot robbie in barbie

So—wait. Do we know what Barbie ’s about? Maybe we should keep debating?

The text below is from the original article, published July 11, ahead of Barbie ’s release:

For months, the Barbie movie’s vast unknown has been one of its greatest assets. What little we understood amounted to a pair of highlighter-yellow rollerblades, dangled aloft by the spray-tanned arms of a bleached-blond Ryan Gosling: nostalgic, symbolic, a triumph of marketing honed along a (plastic) razor’s edge. Every new set photo, character poster, and teaser trailer that collected over the months leading up to Barbie ’s July 21 release has been received and dissected with the self-serious thrill of an 8-year-old planning their themed birthday party. Which, to be clear, is exactly as it should be. Questioning Barbie , like assembling an identity as a child, is a necessary pursuit. This is what movies like Barbie —and icons like the doll herself—are made for: both the indulgent pleasure and the outrageous nuance of mythologizing.

The secrets of director Greta Gerwig’s long-anticipated film are, in fact, starting to dissolve: The Los Angeles premiere prompted a round of spoiler-free first reactions (mostly positive), and the official critic review embargo is reportedly up soon. But even with the film finally accumulating eyeballs, there’s still a collective sense of protectiveness over the Barbie brouhaha. We don’t want the mania to break, not yet. There are still ample dopamine deposits to be discovered in deliberating what, precisely, Barbie has to say. After a promotional music video dropped yesterday featuring Gosling’s Ken serenading his second-rate status, one particular TikTok comment best summarized this feeling: “Every time I see a trailer for this movie I am more confused but I also want to see it more.”

Even Barbie star Issa Rae has enjoyed the opacity. As she shared in a December 2022 Hollywood Reporter story , she was perplexed when Gerwig first presented the story to her. “I’ll be 100 percent honest, when she was talking, like, it was entertaining, but I didn’t get it.” she said. “I was like, ‘I don’t know what the fuck she was talking about, but whatever it is, I’m excited she’s behind it.’ And then reading it was, like, ‘Oh my God, I love her even more.’”

So, then, what is Barbie about? My hope is that actually watching the plot play out will only heighten the debate. The film’s IMDb logline encourages that possibility: “Barbie suffers a crisis that leads her to question her world and her existence.” If Barbie’s questioning herself, why would we not want to do the same?

Thus far, we’ve had such fascinating theories on the objective of her eponymous film:

1) It’s about having an existential crisis (and also, death).

Here’s what we know for sure: In Barbie , our protagonist finds herself losing her grip over her inherent Barbie-ness. “Do you guys ever think about dying?” she asks during one of her classic blowout parties, earning stunned, judgment silence in response. Dolls don’t die ! Matters only worsen from there: Suddenly, her fake shower is freezing; she falls, rather than floats, from her rooftop into her convertible; her feet slump from their iconic arch. To remedy this imperfection, she’s instructed to explore the “real world,” so she can know “the truth about the universe.”

The problem with the “truth about the universe” is that it’s a hot mess, and people die. Barbie is not a mess, nor does she ever die. She doesn’t even age. This supposedly irreconcilable truth seems to be Gerwig’s entry point to dissecting the artifice we’ve built around Barbie as a symbol of idealized femininity. What about perfectionism remains so enticing, even when we know and acknowledge its fruitlessness? And what about the changelessness of Barbie makes her seem like the perfect woman?

margot robbie crying as barbie

2) It’s about Ken becoming a villain. Or something.

The logline attached to the full Barbie trailer lays out an intriguing path for Ken, Barbie’s eternal boyfriend: “To live in Barbie Land is to be a perfect being in a perfect place. Unless you have a full-on existential crisis. Or you’re a Ken.”

One TikTok theory posited that Ken didn’t belong in Barbie Land because he’s “an imposter,” owing to the unexpected casting of Gosling in the role. The “Just Ken” music video further establishes that Ken can’t extricate himself from Barbie, though she finds him only ancillary. If Barbie were to cozy up to Don’t Worry Darling , the film might depict Ken growing resentful over his lesser billing beside a more successful female partner. He might even discover the real world is a rather agreeable place for cis, white, supposedly heterosexual men like himself. (Of course, we shouldn’t assume Ken’s sexuality isn’t fluid. Or that he has a sexuality! He’s a doll!) Might he then want to stay?

Even if Barbie doesn’t lay out its “men are problematic” bent quite so literally, it’s already clear Gosling’s performance is one of the best of the film. If that’s the case, there’s one hell of a debate to be had over why Ken’s character arc is so essential to our understanding of Barbie herself.

3) It’s about the inescapable clutch of corporations.

We can’t talk about Barbie without talking about the marketing of Barbie . It is everywhere: on Krispy Kreme donuts and Ruggable rugs and OPI nail polish and GAP T-shirts and toothbrushes and luggage and pool floats and ice cream and frozen yogurt and makeup and cars and blankets and hairbrushes and heels. Her Dreamhouse is on Airbnb. Every publicist pushing sunglasses or sex toys has retooled their strategy around “Barbiecore” for the summer. I have never worn so much pink in my life.

The problem with all this consumerism is jarringly obvious, even (and perhaps especially) when it’s a great deal of fun. And with fervor comes backlash, as witnessed in critiques that Barbie is little more than a flashy commercial for toy brand Mattel. These critiques, by the way, are correct . At the same time, the Mattel CEO is an actual character in Barbie (played by Will Ferrell), and all signs point to him as a primary antagonist. Therein lies the rub: Barbie is a brand, and is therefore about branding, and is then a critique of branding, in the same breath as it further establishes that branding. You see? We could keep talking about this! Forever!

margot robbie winking as barbie in the barbie movie

4) It’s about feminism.

Well, yeah. Duh.

5) It’s about the swan song of girlhood.

[Young girls] are “funny and brash and confident, and then they just—stop,” Gerwig told Vogue in May. “How is this journey the same thing that a teenage girl feels? All of a sudden, she thinks, Oh, I’m not good enough .” It’s clear that a big chunk of Barbie ’s aim is to explore why girls abandon not only their Barbie dolls, but some of the positive beliefs associated with them.

“We haven’t played with Barbies since we were, like, five years old,” a group of teens tell Margot Robbie’s Barbie in the film trailer. Her face falls. If girls don’t need Barbie, what does she exist for? And who (or what) do they turn to instead? What happens to a girl to make her abandon what was previously such a source of enrichment? What does it mean to age, when Barbie herself cannot?

6) It’s about ... Barbie.

Barbie is a plastic paradox. She is a narrow vision of womanhood, and she is also an everywoman. She has hundreds of jobs and has never worked a day in her life. (She is also, importantly, not alive.) She is more than 60 years old and eternally, vaguely 20-something. (Past reports indicate Mattel claims she’s 19 .) She is sexy but sexless. She’s a child’s plaything, with influence felt widely on adults.

“If you love Barbie, this movie is for you,” reads the copy in the Barbie trailer . “If you hate Barbie, this movie is for you.” There is no clearer case for why the Barbie discourse should continue long past the film’s ecstatic release. She is— as the memes tout —everything! Her movie is all of the above! We need not agree on every one of Barbie ’s precise intentions; we need only recognize why there’s so much more to dissect than an endless onslaught of pink.

Headshot of Lauren Puckett-Pope

Lauren Puckett-Pope is a staff culture writer at ELLE, where she primarily covers film, television and books. She was previously an associate editor at ELLE. 

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Barbie's 2 shocking oscars 2024 snubs prove the movie's entire point (in the worst way).

The nominations for the 2024 Oscars were announced, and the Academy has shockingly snubbed Greta Gerwig's Barbie in two separate categories.

  • Barbie's snubs at the Oscars prove the movie's point about the patriarchy.
  • The lack of recognition for Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie highlights the challenges women face in the industry.
  • While Barbie may not win in major categories, it has a chance at awards for Best Original Song, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Costume Design, and Best Production Design.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) revealed the nominees for the 2024 Oscars on January 23, and Barbie was surprisingly snubbed for two nominations in two separate categories that were seemingly guaranteed before the announcement. Meanwhile, the film secured a nod in another category, and this nomination (combined with the two snubs) demonstrates how its story was accurate. The movie celebrated women, criticized toxic masculinity, and shined a spotlight on the reality and dangers of the patriarchy. The Oscars have only proven that Barbie is a realistic depiction of the world.

The fantasy comedy film, directed by Greta Gerwig and written by Gerwig and Noah Baumbach, was the highest-grossing movie in 2023 and received widespread praise for its script, performances, direction, and more. Shortly after its premiere, many predicted it would receive numerous nominations for acting, writing, directing, and more at the following year's Academy Awards ceremony. While Barbie was ultimately nominated for eight Oscars, including Best Picture, it was sadly left out of two significant categories, proving the movie's point about the patriarchy.

The Oscars Snubbing Greta Gerwig & Margot Robbie While Nominating Ryan Gosling Proves Barbie Right

In a shocking turn of events, Greta Gerwig was not nominated for Best Director, and Margot Robbie didn't receive a Best Actress nod for her performance as Stereotypical Barbie at the 96th Academy Awards. However, Ryan Gosling was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for playing Ken in Barbie . Prior to the Oscar nominations announcement, many believed that Gerwig and Robbie would be recognized for their work in the 2023 fantasy comedy film, even though they would not be the favorites in their respective categories. As a result, learning that the two women were not even nominated was beyond disappointing.

Gosling's nomination and Gerwig and Robbie's snubs validate Barbie 's point about men being celebrated for their achievements with ease while women have to work twice as hard to be seen. Yes, Gosling gave a terrific performance as Ken in the movie, but Gerwig and Robbie undoubtedly deserved to be recognized, resulting in a grim irony, given the film's themes. The patriarchy is alive and well (even with America Ferrera's deserving Best Supporting Actress nomination for her role as Gloria in Barbie ), and the Academy Awards only proved what Gerwig set out to convey in her 2023 movie.

All 7 Female Directors Nominated For The Best Director Oscar (& Which Won)

Barbie's oscars nominations are good, but gerwig & robbie should have been nominated.

Aside from Ryan Gosling and America Ferrera's nods in their respective categories, Barbie received six other Oscar nominations (eight total), including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Song (for Billie Eilish's "What Was I Made For" and "I'm Just Ken"), Best Costume Design, and Best Production Design. While these nominations are exciting, one can't help but feel disheartened overall due to the exclusion of Margot Robbie in the Best Actress category and Greta Gerwig in the one for Best Director. Both women deserved to be nominated, even if they likely wouldn't win.

The lack of female representation for Barbie in the major categories is completely on the nose regarding the movie's themes.

The horrific shock of neither Robbie nor Gerwig being recognized for their respective work in acting and directing is countered slightly by Ferrera's delightful and surprising nomination for Best Supporting Actress . Ferrera's monologue in Barbie is one of the best parts of the movie, and she earned a celebration for her part. But a dark cloud looms over all the fantasy comedy film's Oscar nominations because of Robbie and Gerwig's snubs. Ultimately, the lack of female representation for Barbie in the major categories is completely on the nose regarding the movie's themes, so it lines up with Gerwig's story.

Why Were Greta Gerwig & Margot Robbie Snubbed By The Oscars?

Only one woman was nominated for Best Director at the 96th Academy Awards (Justine Triet for Anatomy of a Fall ).

The Academy Awards are notorious for not recognizing women in the Best Director category, with only seven females being nominated for the award and three winning over the course of the ceremony's 95-year history. So, it should not be too surprising that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences refused to recognize Greta Gerwig's incredible work directing Barbie . As a matter of fact, only one woman was nominated for Best Director at the 96th Academy Awards (Justine Triet for Anatomy of a Fall ), even though three female-directed films received nods in the Best Picture category ( Barbie , Past Lives , and Anatomy of a Fall ).

While Gerwig's snub unfortunately falls in line with the history of the Oscars, Margot Robbie's lack of recognition is more surprising. It seems the Academy agrees on only one female directing nomination a year (sometimes two or zero). But Robbie's category is a celebration of women, and given Robbie's magnificent performance as Barbie, it doesn't make sense why the talented actress was not nominated. Instead, the Best Actress category consists of Annette Bening for Nyad , Lily Gladstone for Killers of the Flower Moon , Sandra Hüller for Anatomy of a Fall , Carey Mulligan for Maestro , and Emma Stone for Poor Things .

Ultimately, not enough Academy voters selected Robbie on their ballots for one reason or another. Perhaps they wanted to uphold Barbie 's message and reinforce the dangers of the patriarchy, or they believed that the other actresses on the list gave better performances. Nevertheless, Robbie wouldn't have been the favorite to win Best Actress at the Oscars — the award will likely go to Gladstone or Stone.

Barbie's Oscars Dream Is All But Over Thanks To 2024's Golden Globes

Which oscars (if any) will barbie actually win.

Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie's snubs in the Best Director and Best Actress categories are severely disappointing, but Barbie could still take home some awards at the Oscars. The fantasy comedy film likely won't win in any major categories, though. Ryan Gosling will probably lose Best Supporting Actor to Robert Downey Jr. (who is nominated for his performance as Lewis Strauss in Christopher Nolan's Oppenheimer ), and Da'Vine Joy Randolph, not America Ferrera, is the favorite to win Best Supporting Actress for playing Mary Lamb in The Holdovers . Gerwig's masterpiece likely won't win Best Picture because the category is stacked with impressive titles.

2023's highest-grossing movie has a better chance of winning Best Original Song, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Costume Design, and Best Production Design. Gerwig and Noah Baumbach won Best Original Screenplay at the 29th Critics' Choice Movie Awards, so they have a shot at winning Best Adapted Screenplay. Best Original Song is seemingly a lock, with "What Was I Made For" and "I'm Just Ken" as the early favorites. Additionally, Barbie is a frontrunner in the Best Costume Design and Best Production Design categories, but only time will tell if the film wins any Oscars.

The 96th Academy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, take place on March 10, 2024, on ABC.

Barbie is a film adaptation of the generational iconic toy directed by Greta Gerwig, who co-wrote the script with Noah Baumbach. The film centers on Margot Robbie's Barbie who is expelled from Barbieland and travels with Ken (Ryan Gosling) to the real world in search of happiness. The film also stars Simu Liu, Will Ferrell, and several other famous celebrities in cameo roles.

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For ‘Barbie’ Fans Online, a Bitterly Ironic Oscar Snub

Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie missed Academy Award nominations for director and actress, respectively — a fact that was a little too on the nose for some.

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A woman in a long, gold gown and a woman in a short, pink dress in front of a sign for the movie "Barbie."

By Joseph Bernstein

When the 2024 Oscar nominations were announced this morning, the snubs of the two most prominent women involved in “Barbie” — the director, Greta Gerwig, and the lead actress, Margot Robbie — became the breakout story.

The top-grossing film of 2023, passing the $1 billion mark worldwide, is based on the imagined life and times of the iconic Mattel doll. A cultural phenomenon on its own terms, “Barbie,” along with “Oppenheimer,” became half of an unusually thoughtful summer blockbuster duo released on the same day in July (“ Barbenheimer ”): nothing to sneeze at.

As it turns out, the internet has strong opinions about today’s announcement.

“Let me see if I understand this: the Academy nominated ‘Barbie’ for Best Picture (eight nominations total) — a film about women being sidelined and rendered invisible in patriarchal structures — but not the woman who directed the film. Okay then,” read a viral X post by the writer Charlotte Clymer.

The film wasn’t completely shut out — it was nominated for best picture, while Ms. Gerwig picked up a nomination with Noah Baumbach for adapted screenplay, Ryan Gosling for supporting actor, and America Ferrera for supporting actress. But the fact that Mr. Gosling was tabbed for his towheaded Ken, who discovers the idea of patriarchy and then attempts to dominate Barbieland, before Ms. Robbie’s character destroys gender-based oppression, was too much for some to take.“We’re actually doing patriarchy very well,” the writer Jodi Lipper wrote in an Instagram story, quoting a Ken line from the film.

(In a statement released today, Mr. Gosling wrote, “To say that I’m disappointed that they are not nominated in their respective categories would be an understatement.”)

Indeed, because “Barbie” functions as a commentary on sexism and a metacommentary on its own place in feminist discourse, the movie itself was the first place some of its fans reached to express their outrage over the snubs.

“Nominating Ken but not Barbie is literally the plot of the movie,” the novelist Brad Meltzer wrote in a thread, above a gif of Ms. Robbie, as Barbie, dancing and saying, “Do you guys ever think about dying?”

“No but seriously…this could have been a storyline straight out of the Barbie movie,” reads the caption on a popular TikTok post from this morning.

Particularly galling for some were the awards garnered by Ms. Gerwig and Ms. Robbie’s “Barbenheimer” male counterparts, Christopher Nolan and Cillian Murphy, for their work on “Oppenheimer .”

“Greta gerwig & margot robbie were as crucial to barbie’s critical & commercial success as nolan & cillian murphy were to oppenheimer’s - imagine the uproar if one or both of those men had been snubbed! it’s wild how barbie is ‘oscar worthy,’ but not the women who made it so,” the writer Zoë Rose Bryant posted on X.

The snub comes after the Golden Globes host Jo Koy drew groans during his monologue for comparing the source material for “Oppenheimer" (“a 721-page Pulitzer Prize-winning book”) with that of “Barbie” (“a plastic doll with big boobies”).

For now, those hoping the director and star of “Barbie” will be recognized for their work will have to wish that the musical version of the film the two teased earlier this month comes to fruition. There’s always the Tonys.

How to Watch 'Barbie' Online: The Best Picture Oscar-Nominated Movie Is Now Streaming

Barbie

Greta Gerwig's 'Barbie' has come to streaming. Here's how to watch it at home.

Come on, Barbie, let's go party! 

After shattering box office records and becoming the  movie of the summer last year, Greta Gerwig's Oscar-nominated film  Barbie  is now available to stream in the comfort of your (dream) house. 

Starring dream duo  Margot Robbie  as Barbie and Ryan Gosling  as Ken, plus Best Actress nominee America Ferrara ,  Barbie  is available to watch right now on Max. 

Barbie

“Thanks to Barbie, all problems of feminism have been solved.” Pop the popcorn and celebrate with a Barbie movie night when you stream this film on Max. 

Starting at $10/Month

Theater-goers around the world had pink fever for the film about the iconic doll. With  Barbie,   Greta Gerwig  became  the first female director to make over $1 billion dollars globally. The film also marks the highest-earning theatrical release for Warner Bros. Studios, which was previously held by  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows - Part 2 . Now that  Barbie  is available to rent on Amazon Prime Video, you can venture to Barbieland from the comfort of your own mojo dojo casa house. 

"I am just so excited," Robbie expressed when she spoke with  ET about playing the pivotal role. "We're at the point of sharing it with the world. There's always that thing when you make a movie and you love it and you care about it so much and you hope that people are gonna like it and even see it. Like even if they don't like it, I just hope they see it and get to form an opinion. But I feel like so many people are gonna see this movie that it's really exciting."

This interview was conducted prior to the  SAG-AFTRA strike , which began on July 13, 2023.  

How to watch the Barbie movie online

Previously only available to buy or rent on Prime Video, Barbie is now streaming on Max as part of a subscription to the platform. Max subscribers can watch the film at no additional cost.

How to buy the Barbie movie

Barbie  is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video as of September 12. You can either rent the movie for $6 or purchase it for just $14 more. The rental is good for 30 days after purchase, but after watching Barbie , the film will only be available for 48 hours. Buy Barbie  for $20 and you can watch it again and again whenever the mood strikes.

Watch on Prime Video

How to shop Barbie holiday gifts 

In honor of the film, Amazon has opened up a Barbie storefront where you can shop movie apparel, buy Barbie dolls and accessories, find exclusive deals and browse pink Barbie home decor.

Shop Amazon's Barbie Store

For even more Barbie, shop our perfectly pink Barbiecore selections . 

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Pop Culture

'barbie' receives 8 oscar nominations, but was that kenough.

Neda Ulaby - Square

Ryan Gosling received an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor for his performance as Ken, but Margot Robbie did not receive a lead actress nomination for her role in Barbie. Greta Gerwig was overlooked for best director. Read more on the nominations here. Warner Bros. Pictures hide caption

Ryan Gosling received an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor for his performance as Ken, but Margot Robbie did not receive a lead actress nomination for her role in Barbie. Greta Gerwig was overlooked for best director. Read more on the nominations here.

Wags on social media were quick to joke: It was just like the plot of the Barbie movie.

A pair of charismatic, smart, girl-power entertainment figures – responsible for the only billion dollar movie solely directed by a woman – are up for the biggest prize in the industry. And one of the biggest nominations goes to ... Ken?

'Barbie' is the only billion-dollar blockbuster solely directed by a woman

'Barbie' is the only billion-dollar blockbuster solely directed by a woman

To be clear, Barbie received eight Oscar nominations on Tuesday morning, including for Best Picture. Ryan Gosling was nominated for best supporting actor. America Ferrera, for best supporting actress. Barbie was also nominated for best adapted screenplay, Costume Design and Production Design.

But director Greta Gerwig was overlooked in favor of Jonathan Glazer ( The Zone of Interest ) , Yorgos Lanthimos ( Poor Things ) Christopher Nolan ( Oppenheimer ) and Martin Scorsese ( Killers of the Flower Moon . ) One female director was nominated — Justine Triet helmed the acclaimed French courtroom drama, Anatomy of a Fall , which won the Palme d'Or at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival.

Takeaways from the Oscar nominations: heavy hitters rewarded, plus some surprises

Pop Culture Happy Hour

Takeaways from the oscar nominations: heavy hitters rewarded, plus some surprises.

As for Barbie herself? The actress who carried the movie, Margot Robbie was overlooked in favor of Annette Bening ( Nyad ), Lily Gladstone ( Killers of the Flower Moon ), Sandra Hüller, ( Anatomy of a Fall ), Carey Mulligan ( Maestro ) and Emma Stone ( Poor Things. )

In a statement, Ryan Gosling said , "There is no Barbie movie without Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie, the two people most responsible for this history-making, globally-celebrated film."

Now, it should be added that Gerwig and Robbie were nominated — just not for best director and best actress. Gerwig got a nod for best adapted screenplay for the film, which she co-wrote with Noah Baumbach. And Robbie's work as executive producer, for which she is up for Best Picture, included convincing Mattel to take real risks in how the character and the company was portrayed.

barbie movie reviews no spoilers

Director/writer Greta Gerwig and cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto on the set of Barbie. Dale Robinette/Warner Bros. Pictures hide caption

"I would have loved to see Gerwig and Robbie nominated for directing and performance, but I'm glad they got other nominations," says NPR's Linda Holmes, host of Pop Culture Happy Hour . "People tend to talk about the screenplay nomination Gerwig earned with Noah Baumbach as though it's inferior to a directing nomination, but is it, really? And Robbie was nominated as a producer when the film got a nod for Best Picture, and given what I've heard about the fact that her producing contributions were really active, that's a real nomination, too."

'Barbie' review: Sometimes corporate propaganda can be fun as hell

'Barbie' review: Sometimes corporate propaganda can be fun as hell

"It's complicated," Holmes continues, "because people think of movies as directors' projects, so how can you be nominated for best picture and not best director? But with the math being the way it is now, if you have 10 best picture nominees [and only five directing nominees], you're going to have a bunch of directors not nominated. Gerwig wasn't nominated in that category, but neither was Bradley Cooper. Neither was Alexander Payne. Neither was Cord Jefferson. The academy was never not going to nominate Christopher Nolan or Scorsese. If Gerwig had been nominated, it probably would have been Justine Triet who wasn't, and that would have been a shame, too."

At least for the Academy voters, Barbie is certainly Kenough.

  • Academy Awards

TheWrap

'Barbie' Star Ryan Gosling 'Disappointed' in Margot Robbie and Greta Gerwig Oscar Snub: 'There Is No Barbie Movie' Without Them

Posted: January 23, 2024 | Last updated: January 24, 2024

Ryan Gosling, a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominee for "Barbie," released a statement on Tuesday expressing gratitude for the recognition — while also pointedly criticizing the Academy for its omissions of director Greta Gerwig and actress Margot Robbie.

"There is no Ken without Barbie, and there is no Barbie movie without Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie, the two people most responsible for this history-making, globally-celebrated film," his statement read.

He continued, "No recognition would be possible for anyone on the film without their talent, grit and genius. To say that I'm disappointed that they are not nominated in their respective categories would be an understatement."

Gosling, a two-time Best Actor nominee, joined a chorus of disapproval regarding the matter. The Internet defended the "Barbie" director and star and questioned the logic behind their absence in the Best Director and Best Actress categories. (Gerwig was cited in Best Adapted Screenplay and Robbie, as a producer, for Best Picture.)

"Completely proving the point of the movie in 20 f--king 24, you cannot make this up," one person posted on X. Another said, "Greta Gerwig made feminist ideals completely digestible for the masses, so of course she wouldn't be nominated by the Academy."

"Barbie" cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto, nominated for his work on "Killers of the Flower Moon," told TheWrap that he was startled by the Gerwig snub.

"Greta made a groundbreaking piece of cinema, one that is going to be remembered for years and years to come," he said. "Of course art is always subjective and these awards races bring competitiveness, but all the other nominations that 'Barbie' earned were because of her vision. This was her film."

Even Justine Triet, a Best Director nominee for "Anatomy of a Fall," said to TheWrap, regarding Gerwig's snub , "I am a huge fan of Greta Gerwig, a huge fan, for what she's doing as a director and as an actress."

Read Gosling's full statement, below:

"I am extremely honored to be nominated by my colleagues alongside such remarkable artists in a year of so many great films. And I never thought I'd being saying this, but I'm also incredibly honored and proud that it's for portraying a plastic doll named Ken.

But there is no Ken without Barbie, and there is no "Barbie" movie without Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie, the two people most responsible for this history-making, globally-celebrated film.

No recognition would be possible for anyone on the film without their talent, grit and genius.

To say that I'm disappointed that they are not nominated in their respective categories would be an understatement.

Against all odds with nothing but a couple of soulless, scantily clad, and thankfully crotchless dolls, they made us laugh, they broke our hearts, they pushed the culture and they made history. Their work should be recognized along with the other very deserving nominees.

Having said that, I am so happy for America Ferrera and the other incredible artists who contributed their talents to making this such a groundbreaking film."

The post 'Barbie' Star Ryan Gosling 'Disappointed' in Margot Robbie and Greta Gerwig Oscar Snub: 'There Is No Barbie Movie' Without Them appeared first on TheWrap .

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Your guide to the latest plot twists and surprise endings, now playing at a theater near you!

barbie movie reviews no spoilers

The film opens with a parody of “2001: A Space Odyssey”, where it is shown, through the voice of the narrator (Helen Mirren) that the Barbie doll has been around since the dawn of girlhood. Random little girls are seen shattering their typical baby dolls in favor of the Barbie.

In the world of Barbie Land, there are multiple Barbies and multiple Kens (Ryan Gosling, Simu Liu, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Ncuti Gatwa, etc), as well as Allan (Michael Cera) and a pregnant doll named Midge (Emerald Fennell). There is a President Barbie (Issa Rae), Physicist Barbie (Emma Mackey), Doctor Barbie (Hari Nef), Writer Barbie (Alexandra Shipp), Diplomat Barbie (Nicola Coughlan), Journalist Barbie (Ritu Arya), and Mermaid Barbie (Dua Lipa), among others. The Kens live dependent on their relationships to their Barbies. The main Barbie (Margot Robbie) goes about her day enjoying her life in Barbie Land with her Ken (Ryan) and with her fellow Barbies. Ryan-Ken has a rivalry with Simu-Ken and they threaten to “beach off” one another. The Barbies and Kens all have a dance party to celebrate how great life in Barbie Land is, until Margot-Barbie comments on if anyone thinks about dying, completely killing the vibe.

Later on, Barbie starts to notice strange things going on in her life, including her heels now touching the ground and her skin having cellulite. She is told by the others ladies to visit Weird Barbie (Kate McKinnon), who has had her hair cut, her face drawn on, and she does splits. She explains to Barbie that there might be something going on in the real world with the girl who plays with her, and she must set out to find out what is going on with her. Barbie drives her way out of Barbie Land, accompanied by a stowaway Ken.

When Barbie and Ken make it to the real world (Venice Beach), they get into trouble after Barbie punches a guy who smacks her butt. After they get out of jail, Barbie goes off to try and find her owner. Barbie takes a moment to sit on a bench and see visions of a girl happily playing with her, until the girl ends up becoming less joyful, causing Barbie to shed tears. She then looks to her side and sees an old woman (Ann Roth) sitting next to her. Barbie tells her she is beautiful, and the woman says she knows.

Based on her visions, Barbie is directed to a middle school girl named Sasha (Arianna Greenblatt), who says she no longer plays with Barbies because they incorporate unrealistic beauty standards. Meanwhile, after Barbie and Ken split off, Ken ends up learning about the patriarchy, seeing it as something positive.

Barbie ends up at Mattel, the company that makes Barbies. The CEO (Will Ferrell) learns of her presence in the real world, which is overheard by an employee named Gloria (America Ferrera), who is also Sasha’s mother. Barbie ends up in the boardroom of employees, and the CEO tries to convince her to go back into a life-size box to fix everything. She nearly agrees before changing her mind and making a run for it. After Gloria picks up Sasha, she finds Barbie, who is being chased by the CEO and his subordinates. Barbie then learns that Gloria is responsible for her current existential crisis due to Sasha being more moody around her lately. Barbie guides Gloria and Sasha back to Barbie Land, while the guys from Mattel try to find a way to track her down.

When the three arrive in Barbie Land, they find that Ken has brought the patriarchy there, renaming the place “Kendom” and has now indoctrinated the other Kens into behaving more obnoxiously and more “bro” like, causing the rest of the Barbies to become more subservient to them. This extends to the real world where Ken’s change to Barbie’s dream house, a “Mojo Dojo Casa House”, starts selling well. While Barbie tries to appeal to Ken and get him to change his mind, he refuses because he now feels more valued than he did before going to the real world with her. Barbie becomes depressed and feels she is no longer perfect as she was made to be. Gloria and Sasha take her car and leave her when she tells them to go home. A commercial for “Depressed Barbie” plays before Weird Barbie comes to get her friend.

On their way out of Barbie Land, Gloria and Sasha are startled to find Allan has stowed away with them since he is already sick of the Kens having taken over. A group of Kens are building a wall (very poorly) to stop anyone from getting in or out of Barbie Land, and Allan begins to fight them all by himself. Sasha then decides they should go back to Barbie Land and help Barbie because Gloria cares about her, and Sasha expresses support for her mother’s ideas.

Gloria and Sasha return to find Barbie in Weird Barbie’s dream house, along with some discontinued Barbies and Kens. Gloria talks to Barbie, who is still depressed, and gives an impassioned speech about the standards women have to deal with in the real world. This helps snap Barbie out of her funk, as some of the other Barbies also come to their senses and devise a plan to get the Kens to change their minds.

Each Barbie tries to appeal to their Kens’ egos before jumping to other Kens to make them jealous and fight each other, culminating in a dance-off and Ken’s heartfelt “I’m Just Ken” ballad. Ken goes to Barbie and admits that he feels he is defined by his relationship to her, as it’s “Barbie AND Ken”, and not “just Ken”. Barbie apologizes for making him feel that way, but she also does not want to be known as just his girlfriend in Barbie Land. The Mattel guys arrive in Barbie Land, just as the spirit of Ruth Handler (Rhea Perlman), the creator of Barbie, appears to speak to her. Ruth tells Barbie that while humans might have an end, her story does not have to. She encourages her to choose her own destiny and holds her hands. Barbie closes her eyes and envisions other women and mothers before making her choice.

Later on, Barbie rejoins Gloria and Sasha in the real world, now going by the name Barbara Handler. The two drop her off at a building, where she tries to make an appointment to see a gynecologist.

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In the world of Barbie Land, there are tons of Barbies with different jobs and unique personalities, while the Kens are mostly dependent on their relationships with their Barbies. One Barbie in particular starts to feel differently from the others, experiencing unusual thoughts of her existence. Weird Barbie convinces her to venture into the real world to find the girl that plays with her and resolve things. Her Ken joins her as they make their way to Venice Beach.

In the real world, Barbie meets Gloria and Sasha, a mother-daughter duo who originally played with her together until Sasha outgrew Barbies due to thinking they present unrealistic beauty standards. The CEO of Mattel catches wind of Barbie being in the real world and tries to put her back in a box to prevent uncertain consequences. Gloria and Sasha take Barbie back home, but Ken has already returned and made it into a "Kendom" after learning about the patriarchy and thinking that the other Kens would feel more valued. This makes the other Barbies into subservient girlfriends, and when Barbie cannot change Ken's mind, she falls into a depression. Gloria and Sasha almost leave until they are convinced by Allan (the only doll without a multiple) to go back and stop the Kens. After an impassioned speech from Gloria, Barbie and her sisters come up with a plan.

The Barbies manipulate the Kens to turn on one another until the main Barbie and Ken resolve their issues, with Ken wanting to feel more valued and not just be seen as her boyfriend. Barbie is then met by the spirit of Ruth Handler, her creator, who encourages her to choose her own destiny.

Barbie chooses to live in the real world as a human, continuing to be close to Gloria and Sasha.

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    No, 'Barbie' is more than a doll. It's a concept and one that can be anyone and everyone, inspiring and encouraging young girls to dream and be whatever they choose to be. It is this aspect of Barbie and the film that I truly appreciated.

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  27. Official Discussion

    The movie was clearly written by a woman (in the same vain that female characters in movies written by men are way off). It's just reversing the roles. But like I said at the beginning, it's still well made and fun. Made me laugh more than any other movie this year. Maybe this movie is more for the world rather than for California kids like myself.

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    Ryan-Ken has a rivalry with Simu-Ken and they threaten to "beach off" one another. The Barbies and Kens all have a dance party to celebrate how great life in Barbie Land is, until Margot-Barbie comments on if anyone thinks about dying, completely killing the vibe.