“Barbie” Review: Girl Power, a Mojo Dojo Casa House & more

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“Barbie” rating: 4.5/5

“Barbie” has been the most-anticipated film of the summer. Perhaps of the decade.

I haven’t been to the movie theatre since 2018, but I knew I had to see “Barbie” on the big screen. Growing up, I had dozens of Barbies and accessories. From Mermaid Barbie, to Pop Star Barbie to Vet Barbie, I had an abundance of them. So, of course, I was excited to see the dolls I grew up with come to life. I didn’t expect to cry, though.

Girl Power to the max

It was so refreshing to have a movie where the main female character isn’t just a sidekick or the-hot-girl-next-door, but her own actual person (doll). In a lot of movies, we see woman portrayed through the male gaze, and it’s exhausting. Let’s just have them be the kick-ass heroes of the movie/show. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot out that in our media landscape but not nearly enough.

“Barbie” shakes things up. Women are the heroes in the movie; women are held in a higher power; women save the day. And they do it without falling into the arms of the hot guy, which proves it is possible to have a woman character that isn’t just for a romantic interest. SHOCKING!

We know the story of Barbie and Ken — Mattel had them as a package deal. However, Greta Gerwig spun this story around and had Barbie not interested in Ken in a romantic way. She just wanted to hang with her gal pals and go about her day. Once Ken was faced with rejection did he flip the script and became a pseudo-villain because Barbie didn’t return his affections. As if women can’t reject men. But once Barbie explained to Ken that he’s much more than his crush on her. He, like her, is his own person. That he is Kenough. Love to see it.

Let’s also touch upon the fact that Gloria was so low on the totem poll at Mattel but had the best ideas for the company. Also, her speech was inspiring, and I felt myself tearing up during it. Because what she says is true: women are complex and being a woman is hard. In fact, it’s exhausting!!! At the end of the day, as seen in the movie, men and woman are all equal.

Endless laughs and heartfelt moments

Sure, the movie went deep, and I totally appreciated that, but we also can’t forget all the laughs. Ryan Gosling’s portrayal of Ken is TOO GOOD. From his weird dance moves, his endless jealousy of other Ken, to his love of the patriarchy and horses…he had so many funny moments. I’ve only seen him in “The Notebook,” so this was a fresh new look. Also, we can’t forget the beach off between all the Kens and the choreographed dances that went along with it. And we all can’t help but want Ken’s job of “Beach.” He is living the dream.

Weird Barbie also hilarious moments, especially her desire to see a little more of Ken. That’s not surprising considering Weird Barbie is played by Kate McKinnon.

Amongst the funny parts, there were also some parts that had me tearing up. I mentioned Gloria’s speech about the hardships of being a woman, but her relationship with her daughter was also sweet. The moody-tween and her mom banded together to save BarbieLand from Ken and his Mojo Dojo Casa House and his fur coat. The moment between the creator of Barbie and Barbie was also sweet. Most notably when Barbie decided she wanted to be more than a doll and venture into the real world. Birkenstocks and all.

Brilliant performances, costumes and settings GALORE

Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling embodied Barbie and Ken so well. I can’t imagine any other actors portraying those characters, even though when I first learned this was going to be a movie, I thought Gosling was an odd choice. I was so wrong! America Ferrera, Kate McKinnon, Michael Cera and more really elevated the movie as a whole. The casting was on point.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the costumes and setting. I wanted every outfit Barbie wore, but I so so liked that there were so many familiar Barbie outfits in the movie. I grew up being a pink, glittery girly, so I was all for the pink, glittery outfits in the movie. The setting was colorful and eye-popping! Everything about it was just so pretty and appealing.

More notable moments

  • The Mojo Dojo Casa House was pure gold and meant to be a meme for months, years to come.
  • Ken losing interest in patriarchy when he realized it wasn’t about horses KILLED ME.
  • Barbie’s Chanel outfit…I want.
  • I liked seeing the discontinued Barbie in one of the scenes because what was Mattel thinking with some of those?
  • I can’t get over Ryan Gosling’s performance. I won’t be able to watch him in anything else and not think of him as Ken.
  • Also, the scene when he asked for a white coat and clicky pen to do surgery cracked me up.
  • Let’s not forget Alan, who banded with the Barbies to get BarbieLand back. So sweet — we love Alan.

Overall, “Barbie” definitely lives up to the hype, and I will definitely be watching it a second time when it comes to streaming. Also, a round of applause for it reaching over a billion dollars from a woman director. Heck yes!

You don’t have to be a fan of Barbie dolls to see this. If you’re looking for a boost of girl power, laughs and great performances, then this is for you.

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