Barbie was the movie of the summer. The star-studded comedy-drama debuted on July 21st in theaters all around the world. This bright and colorful film follows Stereotypical Barbie and her friend Ken as they live in Barbieland. However, when strange things start happening to Stereotypical Barbie, they must journey to the Real World. In the Real World, Barbie and Ken have different experiences and come to terms with what it is like for men and women in the real world.
The film is fun and entertaining but also brings up real issues men and women face in life. It makes you laugh, cry, and think. There are so many things that make this a great film. For one, the eye-catching pink aesthetic of the set, props, and wardrobe are everything. Pink is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear “Barbie.”
The pink set, the pink clothes, and the pink accessories make it look like a real Barbieland. It is almost as if they took the Barbie playsets and enlarged them to make the set for this film. That is how realistic it all looks. Also, the props have the same plastic look as the real Barbie toys. For example, the rollerblades that Ken holds up in the car on their way to the Real World look exactly like the toy rollerblades. Everything looks so authentic. The authenticity of the movie’s presentation helps develop the plot even further.
Speaking of the plot, it is the best thing about the film. Although it is a movie about a beloved children’s toy, it isn’t necessarily aimed at kids. This movie is about the realities of being human, no matter your gender. When Barbie and Ken get to the Real World, they immediately realize there is a difference in the way that people are looking at both of them. Barbie feels uncomfortable and anxious with everyone’s eyes on her, while Ken relishes the attention. Barbie, and to some extent Ken, learn what it means to be human.
The film exhibits the complicated experience of being a woman in this day and age. When Barbie gets back to Barbieland to find that all the other Barbies have been brainwashed by the Kens, she feels hopeless and unlovable because she’s no longer “Stereotypical Barbie ” pretty. This leads America Ferrera’s character, Gloria, to launch into a monologue about the impossibility of being a woman.
That monologue makes the movie, and it makes the point of how hard it is to be a woman without seeming preachy. It also helps undo the brainwashing, allowing the Barbies to reclaim Barbieland from the Kens.
Although the movie primarily focuses on the female experience, it also touches on how the patriarchy harms men and women. Once the Barbies reclaim Barbieland, Stereotypical Barbie’s Ken is unsure of who he is without her. Barbie explains to him that it’s okay for him to just be Ken. The patriarchy, and Ken’s idea of it, made him think he has to be something specific and always in connection to Barbie. He felt like he couldn’t just be himself.
Therefore, the tagline, “She’s everything, he’s just Ken,” has multiple meanings. Barbie has to be “everything” because she is a woman. However, she is also “everything” because this is Barbieland, and it’s all about Barbie. Ken is “just Ken” in the sense that he’s allowed to be himself. However, he is also “just Ken” because this isn’t about him.
Despite what the Internet dude-bros say about this film, Barbie is a great movie. It’s a fun and colorful rollercoaster ride filled with laughter, tears, and thought-provoking statements. It delivers a real message about the hardships of being human wrapped in shiny, pink packaging to make it more palpable for viewers. It’s not just a movie for women but rather a movie for anyone who’s ever felt human.