This is a response to I'm Not Like Barbie And You Shouldn't Be, Either.
I'll start this by giving some context. I never played with Barbies growing up, I was more of a Polly Pocket gal to be honest. It wasn't anything against Barbies, but I definitely didn't feel any kind of childhood connection to the movie as the trailer came out and people began talking about it. I was kind of indifferent, not sure why everyone was getting so excited. I saw the cast and thought, "Hm, maybe that's why everyone is so pumped?" It wasn't until a few of my friends and sister began talking about its groundbreaking, feminist ideas that I became a bit more interested.
Also, I had a regal gift card. And I love seeing movies in the theatre. So, when my sister was reading its amazing reviews the other day and I found said regal gift card, I decided it might be worth it to see why everyone was freaking out so much - and for free! Here's why I enjoyed the movie so much and why you might too:
The Colors Are So Nice
Even though I'm not an expert in cinematography, a girl can appreciate when a color scheme is nice. I'm not even a lover of the color pink, but every hue in this movie felt soft, summery, and bright, fitting with the vibe of the movie from the start. There were pinks, yellows, ocean blues, and the use of colors in outfits was so appealing to the eye. It's so cool to me that these small - but also kind of big - things are so intentional on the production's part.
The Casting is Pretty Much Perfect
Having only seen Ryan Gosling in a couple of other films, The Notebook and La La Land (both of which he did amazing in), I kind of expected him to do a good job for a seemingly plain character. But the character of Ken was actually a lot more complex than I originally thought, going through a bit of a character arc and uncovering some realizations with the help of Margot Robbie's Barbie. Without giving anything away, I thought Gosling did a great job navigating the character's struggles.
And Margot Robbie! I absolutely loved her performance. It takes a talented actress to be able to show so many different emotions, bringing the audience into them so much (I even started crying at one point? Not sure if other audience members relate to this) and being so graceful through it all. She was relatable, funny, and so enjoyable to watch.
This, I was not expecting. Again, I clearly did not do my research, didn't even watch the whole trailer(?) before going to see the whole movie. I'm not sure why I didn't know it was going to be funny, but it was laugh-out-loud funny. Many scenes! So that added a pleasant surprise.
So Many Ideas. Almost Too Many. But They're Good So It's Okay
The director of the film, Greta Gerwig, has directed a couple of other banger films with feminist messaging, one of which being Little Women. Throughout the whole Barbie movie, there is plenty of subliminal as well as more direct messaging for the audience to ponder on. I think it has messaging that is good for everyone to hear - not just for females who already agree with the messaging, but maybe also their boyfriends, brothers, friends, etc. Really, any male watching this movie will hopefully also take away something about what it means to be a female.
Outside of feminist messaging, there are a few scenes that offer the beautiful idea of what it means to be human. (Not gonna lie, it was a bit existential at times, but the kind that is deep and enjoyable.) I love this idea represented in films and was glad they touched on it throughout. This is something we can all relate to and understand.
Also, all the controversy of the Barbie brand is addressed in a very clever way. I was a bit confused throughout the film as it takes you up and down the rollercoaster of the good things that Barbie has represented, and then the bad, and everything in between. I think overall, though, the film did a great job of showing that Barbie has represented women and our societal struggles throughout the years. We can make it mean what we want it to mean now.
The songs are so good. Plenty of awesome female singers, and then other bops in general. If the movie's plot doesn't interest you very much, maybe go for the soundtrack. It is seriously so fun and I've been listening to it since I saw the movie.
There's one song by Billie Eilish that is both beautiful and sad and plays in a very powerful scene. How can a song make you feel all of that? I don't know. You'll just have to go watch the Barbie movie to find out.