“Barbie” might be hysterically humorous, with big laugh-out-loud moments generously scattered all through. They arrive from the insularity of an idyllic, pink-hued realm and the bodily comedy of fish-out-of-water moments and selection popular culture references as the surface world more and more encroaches. However as a result of the advertising marketing campaign has been so intelligent and so ubiquitous, it’s possible you’ll uncover that you just’ve already seen a good quantity of the film’s impressed moments, such because the “2001: A Area Odyssey” homage and Ken’s self-pitying ‘80s energy ballad. Such is the anticipation industrial complicated.
And so that you in all probability already know the essential plot: Barbie (Margot Robbie), the preferred of all of the Barbies in Barbieland, begins experiencing an existential disaster. She should journey to the human world with a purpose to perceive herself and uncover her true function. Her kinda-sorta boyfriend, Ken (Ryan Gosling), comes alongside for the journey as a result of his personal existence will depend on Barbie acknowledging him. Each uncover harsh truths—and make new mates –alongside the highway to enlightenment. This bleeding of stark actuality into an obsessively engineered fantasy calls to thoughts the revelations of “The Truman Present” and “The LEGO Film,” however by way of a wry prism that’s particularly Gerwig’s.
This can be a film that acknowledges Barbie’s unrealistic bodily proportions—and the sorts of very actual physique points they will trigger in younger women—whereas additionally celebrating her function as a feminist icon. In spite of everything, there was an astronaut Barbie doll (1965) earlier than there was an precise lady in NASA’s astronaut corps (1978), an achievement “Barbie” commemorates by exhibiting two suited-up ladies high-fiving one another among the many stars, with Robbie’s Earth-bound Barbie saluting them with a sunny, “Yay, house!” That is additionally a film through which Mattel (the doll’s producer) and Warner Bros. (the movie’s distributor) not less than create the looks that they’re in on the surprisingly pointed jokes at their expense. Mattel headquarters contains a spacious, top-floor convention room populated solely by males with a heart-shaped, “Dr. Strangelove”-inspired lamp hovering over the desk, but Will Ferrell’s CEO insists his firm’s “gender-neutral loos up the wazoo” are proof of range. It is a neat trick.