People have been bugging me, pushing me, harassing me, not letting me breathe. They keep running up to me and asking… nay, demanding that I provide them with what they want. With what America wants. With what the whole wide world wants. They grab my hands and look me dead in the eye and say “what does a nearly 40 year old straight man think of the Barbie movie? We need to know.”
I am finally here to oblige.
I went to the Century City (if/when you have seen the movie, you will understand why I pointed this out) AMC theater for the 4pm screening of Barbie. I was joined by my special lady friend, who bought the tickets and invited me because I said I would check it out if she was going. We sat in the Prime theater, which has those nice soft “leather” recliners. With my popcorn, Junior Mints, and medium (a large is freakin’ 32 ounces!) diet Strawberry Fanta from the freestyle machine – no ice, I found my seat and settled in. It was 4:03. Over the next 25 minutes I ate half the popcorn bag and drank about a third of my drink. I didn’t break into the Junior Mints, because I wanted to wait on those. Now that we’re nearing 4:30 the last of the trailers end and the lights dim. Yep, only a short 25 minutes of trailers for some not so good looking movies before we get to the main event. (Side note: The new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem cartoon sounded interesting until I watched the trailer. Wow. I am no longer interested. Telling me a cartoon cast is funny is not a good pitch. There’s no improve in cartoons. I’m worried about just how bad the story is. Yes it’s a kids movie. Shut up.)
The movie surprised me with its opening, but also set the stage for what’s to come. I don’t know what I was expecting from the story, but this wasn’t it. I was more prepared for a fake plastic world of goofy fun, not really expecting anything serious. Not to say that the opening is serious, it simply let me know I wasn’t going to watch the plastic thoughts I had imagined. The opening was great.
Now that the story was moving I was able to adjust my expectations from what I had assumed I was going to get, to what I was getting. The movie is fun and doesn’t take itself seriously. There are more easter eggs and little things than I would ever have known. Just today I was informed of a Brats dolls tie in that you have to be a dedicated doll person to have known. Greta Gerwig did an amazing job researching and adding small things to this movie. Just amazing.
Speaking of the little things, those were only part of it. The big things were PERFECT. I am already calling this movie for best production design. They nailed it every step of the way. Just wow. They’ll probably win best costumes too, but I’m not smart enough about fashion to know why. It all looked great though. Greta thought this whole thing through from top to bottom and it shows.
As for the acting, I’m going to have to give nearly everyone a huge freakin’ chest bump. Ryan Gosling was the perfect Ken. Just perfect. Vapid emptiness is his thing. Margot Robbie did well too. I can’t imagine another person as Barbie after having seen it. It’s like Keanu Reeves in The Matrix, he was so perfect as Neo that I wouldn’t even want to think of another person in the role, even though I’m sure others could have done it well. That’s what Margot Robbie did to Barbie. The other Ken’s and Barbie’s are just as great. The only thing I thought was off was how aggressive the President became for no reason. It didn’t add up to me. America Ferrera is technically my girlfriend, so I can’t say anything bad about her. Plus there’s never anything bad to say. Her daughter in the movie was pretty great too. She felt like the kind of annoying, but not totally annoying preteen she needed to be. The only acting issue I’m going to call out is Will Ferrell. Will is fun and funny. There are certain things he’s done or said that are locked into my head as stand outs of comedy genius. However, he’s not really changing much. It’s the same Will Ferrell that was in the other movies. I could use seeing him in a new light. Maybe less of the goofy side and more of his stern side. I know he can do it. We watched him do it many times on SNL.
Either way, the acting was great. I thought they all did a fantastic job.
I would like to get somewhat into the story for you, but I worry about spoilers. The basic plot is that Barbie needs to get back to Barbie Land after venturing into the real world to help. The story itself is not the deepest. You won’t miss any underlying plot points by going to the bathroom. The message of the film is underscored many times and almost yelled out, however, knowing that many of the men that will watch this movie with their special lady friends won’t understand the message, I can see why Greta did that.
Actually, it should probably be pointed out, if you are a man that is uncomfortable with being called out, even tangentially, and you get emotional about things because of it, you will hate this movie. Men are called out often. It is very accurate. I laughed at myself often. Yes, this movie is about men being men. It’s actually a major point of the real world, because it’s true.
I can’t say much more without getting too far into the story and maybe possibly slipping in a spoiler without realizing it. Personally, I hate have any part of a movie or TV show spoiled, however, I also think that watching something after having it spoiled will leave you knowing if the movie was actually good or just hyped up. Having said that, this movie is a mix of hype and fun. The story is direct, the sets and are are f’n perfect, the acting is good, and I had an overall fun time.
I would give it a 3.5 out of 5 fingernail clippings, which is probably good.