Women Have Come a Long Way Barbie

Barbie, written (with the help of her “Ken”, Noah Baumbach) and directed by Greta Gerwig was a triumphant feat of creativity. To begin I’ll start with the many positive performances.

Cast: Margot Robbie is perfect as Stereotypical Barbie, but possibly only due to the incredible writing and narration of Helen Mirren, who, visa vie Gerwig, admits that Margot’s too darn pretty in real life to make us moviegoers feel good about ourselves.
Ryan Gosling is a special actor for his ability to do embarrassing things while appearing sweet and vulnerable. Michael Cera is a dream, an everyman we all want to hug. The other woman of note with probably an equally great dramatic arc (as Robbie) was America Ferrera who delivered a moving, poignant speech. Issa Rae is fantastic as the President and Simi Liu is special as the other most alpha (besides Gosling, of course) Ken.
Will Farrel and Kate McKinnon help round out the comedy and Rita Perlman is this year’s Rita Moreno (referring to her touching cameo in last year’s In the Heights) as “Ruth”, who I mistakenly thought was the ghost of Ruth Ginsburg (not a stretch considering there were some Supreme Court references), but I’ll let you discover the actual context for Ruth’s character.

The song and dance sequences were a blast as were all the tiny details both in set, costume and dialogue.

And now my criticism, in which I’ll cite my number one smart man, Scott Galloway, who in his column from last weekend, notes the very real and dire need for us to give young men mentoring and support. Barbie does very little to support the ‘equal for all’ notion. Greta doesn’t seem to realize she can’t have it both ways: you can’t go tell Ken to go find himself while pressuring him to ‘stay in line’/the happy wife-happy life adage. Men have to be allowed to make mistakes just as women are fallible. We are equal in our humanity and need for love and support regardless of the horrible treatment of women in the past.
Part of the reason men aren’t doing so well right now (again see the extensive research Scott Galloway did on this topic) is partly due to the media and women stomping the stuffing out of them. Incels are the hideous extreme, but part of the anger and depression of men is due to being ignored and berated by women. A. Men need to pick themselves up by the bootstraps and save themselves first, and then women will be more likely to communicate. However, let’s face facts(again see Galloway for those stats or even the Film Stage Show podcast where Brian announces a harrowing number of his male friends committed suicide). Until we stop male bashing in commercials, movies, etc., we can’t expect the male diaspora to be feeling empowered. Male bashing should be the same as fat shaming. If women want to be understood during hormonal ups and downs then we have to forgive men for their intermittent naivete (for instance, in the film, Greta does a brilliant job is displaying different kinds of mansplaining (sports, finances, movies) We must all make our own way in the world and partner up with people whom we want to live parallel lives.

Had this been made in 1975, Barbie would be groundbreaking. In 2023, it’s still an important film (based on the pro-choice component that still hangs in the balance), but I think it’s important to not throw the baby (younger caring men) out with the bathwater (the old guard trying to get rid of women’s reproductive rights).

By Goldie

Aspiring writer who has retired from the institution of education. I've written plays, three of which have been performed both in Rochester NY and here in Sarasota FL. I also write stand up and obviously, film critique. My comment section does not work, so please email me your comments at irun2eatpizza@hotmail.com

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