If you’re wondering if this is a movie for a girl’s night out or if is it more of little kids Barbie move and looking for a spoiler-free movie review, I’ve got you. If you want to know if this a movie you must see on the big screen or one to wait to stream at home, we will cover that in our review of Warner Brother’s 2023 Barbie. I was invited by Warner Brothers to an advance screening a few days prior to the release on July 21st.
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Barbie opening in theaters this week, the highly anticipated movie based on the iconic Mattel line of dolls is everything and more than I hoped. It was brilliant and fun, and covers some important topics of feminism, stereotypes, and patriarchy. I especially loved it as I was a Barbie-obsessed little girl. Barbie has been around since 1959 and has continued to be loved by every generation since. Honestly, I wasn’t sure how there would be an actual story as it’s not a children’s movie and is based on well, Barbie.
The movie written by Greta Gerwig (2019’s Little Women) and Noah Baumbach, stars Margot Robbie as Barbie and costar Ryan Gosling as Ken. Robbie plays “Stereotypical Barbie” who lives in Barbieland with all the other Barbies and lives a very Barbie-centric life. Gosling plays the hunky blond beach-loving Ken who has a crush on Barbie. Like all the Barbies, there are other Kens and an appearance of other characters including Skipper and Madge.
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Right away I fell in love with the movie with a parody based on the opening sequence of “2001: A Space Odyssey” where we are reminded that Barbie was the first doll where girls weren’t just taught they can be mothers but they are girls who can imagine themselves as have amazing careers.
Something suddenly disrupts Barbie’s normally happy perfect life and she starts having dark thoughts. She goes to see Weird Barbie for advice. The character of Weird Barbie is fabulous as she’s described as the result of a human who played with her too hard. She’s the doll with crazy chopped hair, a tattooed face (marker scribbles) and no longer holds the traditional Barbie pose. To get to the bottom of what is disturbing Barbie, she must leave Barbieland and travel to the human world to find her owner.
The costume and set designs are fabulous. It’s so fun to see the Barbie homes and cars that we all loved. My Barbie playing phase was in the mid-70s so there weren’t as many extravagant pieces as there are today but I did have the Barbie Corvette and the Catamaran (as I said, it was the 70s) and coveted the Barbie Dream House.
Is Barbie for little kids? The movie is rated PG-13 strong language and suggestive references. There are a few words and a few jokes (though the jokes will go over their heads). It’s more that little kids may not follow the story and get bored. It’s 2 hours long and they may struggle to sit through to the end.
This is the perfect movie for a Girls’ Night Out or a Mother-Daughter Date with your tweens and teens. Make a night of it and find a local spot featuring Barbie-inspired food and drinks, get dressed in fun pink Barbiecore outfits, and have a fun and fabulous evening out.