The Barbie Movie was . . . weird.
My column I wrote for last week’s Lagniappe News, which I’ll be able to post here Wednesday, has nothing to do with the movie, and everything to do with my theory of why, in part, Barbie is still so popular with little girls. — Could it be because they’ve been deprived of anything feminine in the last decade? (A columnist recently admitted pink is a "dangerous" color for little girls). Well, I swanee! - check back Wednesday, or sign up for the newsletter to be notified of new posts!
But back to the movie. Who doesn’t want to see their childhood toys come to life? Toy Story was a big hit in our house, and the Barbie previews looked equally amusing. The first 15 minutes of the movie were indeed fun, opening with a Planet of the Apes spoof, but as my daughter-in-law wisely noted, the last 15 minutes were disappointing. Everything in-between was insulting.
It was a tired, cliche'd battle of the sexes where women were stereotyped as power hungry and focused on labels instead of just being themselves. When they wanted to gain power, they resorted to playing dumb and tricking the men. It was insulting for about 20 different reasons. When the overly soft Ken Doll men wanted to gain power, they turned into horrible jerks. It was also insulting, because I happen to be a big fan of real-life men.
The overall storyline was either men or women were going to be the “best” and in charge, but not both.
I read later that a cross-dressing man played the role of one of the Barbies, but honestly, it went over my head and I didn’t notice. The “Barbies” in the movie were all pretending to be sort of half-doll, half-human, so they were stiff, plastic-like and fake looking. The dolls mentioned more than a few times they didn’t have genitals, (gross and unneeded) so in other words, he fit in as genderless.
Florida Representative Matt Gaetz’s wife, Ginger, said in part, “This movie unfortunately, neglects to address any notion of faith . . .” Well, even though I’m a Christian, I don’t think every single thing in this world should be mandated to reflect faith. Sometimes Bugs Bunny is just a rabbit trying to stay out of the boiling pot of water and no spiritual lesson is needed.
The funny parts of this movie were so clever, it could have been a complete home-run if the writers didn’t try to weave everything around a scolding examination of men and women’s roles. What could have been a silly summer distraction in Barbieland, turned into an uncomfortable awkward, too-long event. The final scene was meant to be funny, but instead of ending with laughter, the entire theatre sat silently stunned. Standing in the lobby after leaving, several groups of ladies from teens to grandmother ages, joined our group and we all agreed that it was a waste of our time and money.
I wouldn’t take any child or even young teen to see The Barbie Movie.
The Hollywood writers are currently on strike. I hope they all get jobs at Starbucks and new writers with real talent and imagination and no agenda take their place.
Two days later, my husband and I saw, “The Sound of Freedom” and it was amazing. Ken doll should take note.
Stay tuned in a few days for my Barbie story - which has nothing to do with anything in the movie. I promise!