Barbie has a complicated place in feminism. Perhaps she did offer young girls the possibility of being something other than a mother, but she also is the representation of the thin, white (blonde) and impossible beauty standards we all have permeating our psyches.
So it feels a little odd for the Barbie movie to be so feminist, but it did feel powerful. And funny, it’s so fucking funny.
I appreciated that it takes on the patriarchy for both women and men, and shows that it is damaging to everyone. I really loved what they did with Ken, from the trailer I wasn’t sure what his role would be and I loved where they took it. And Ryan Gosling was so good.
Margot Robbie was, as ever, brilliant. My colleague said to me she thought it was “interesting for such a so-called feminist movie everyone is talking about how good the man is” .. but for me, I knew she’d be perfect and I had no real expectations for Ryan Gosling (he’s just never on my radar!) so he was a pleasant surprise.
I can’t think of anyone else who could have been Barbie, not just physically but I think she has a relevant place as the current favourite bombshell blonde Hollywood actress with all the objectification that comes packaged with that.
It also occurs to me after that America Fererra was a cool choice as well having had her breakout role as Ugly Betty. There is a fun line where one of the Barbies references the idiotic movie trope where a girl is only “hot” when she takes off her glasses. I loved her character in Barbie, and that she wasn’t the stereotypical bored and lonely Mum character – she was already a dark and weird, and unhinged!
It was fun to see Will Ferrell doing his Will Ferrell thing, they really poke fun at Mattel and it’s questionable record with women in any positions of power.
Michael Cera as Alan was also a scene stealer.
There were also an amazing amount of British comedians in this, and I counted three cast members from Sex Education!
I just had such an amazing experience watching this movie. It felt like so long since I’ve seen something (not a Marvel movie) that I felt excited about. Something unusual, funny and smart where you could tell so much thought and talent had gone into making something different.
And everyone was actually wearing pink, and laughing together. The cinema was full of people of all ages and genders too. There was a middle-aged man, which who I assume was his wife, right behind me laughing his head off! It just felt like a real event.
I’ll definitely watch this again! I think I need another couple of viewings to untangle my thoughts from it in a political/feminist POV, but it was funny and smart and weird, and I fucking loved it.