Life in Plastic, It’s Not Fantastic :: Barbie Movie Review

“It is literally impossible to be a woman,” Gloria tells Barbie. “You are so beautiful, and so smart, and it kills me that you don’t think you’re good enough. Like, we have to always be extraordinary, but somehow, we’re always doing it wrong.”

Gloria, America Ferrera’s character, had one of the best monologues I’ve heard in a movie in quite some time. It was empowering, uplifting, and moved some ladies to tears.

Free Dolls Barbie photo and picture

“I’m just so tired of watching myself and every single other woman tie herself into knots so that people will like us.”

Sadly, this message and others were lost in the film amidst so many nonsensical scenes, innuendos, and jargon.

This may not be a popular opinion, but the best part of the Barbie movie was getting dolled up in pink and spending time with my girlfriends. It was all downhill from there. The premise of the movie (I’d say spoiler alert, but this really isn’t riveting stuff) is all the Barbies and Kens live in Barbieland. The opening scene shows Barbie (Stereotypical Barbie, aka Margot Robbie) waking up perfectly coiffed, ‘fake brushing’ her teeth, showering with no water, and drinking invisible milk. She floats down to the ground from the second floor of her dreamhouse, ‘drives’ her car down the road, and waves to all the passersby as if she’s the Queen of Carnival. Barbies rule Barbieland, including the Supreme Court.

The Kens spend their days vying for the Barbies attention, unable to contribute anything meaningful but a firm physique and random serenade. Sounds odd, but this was the first thirty minutes or so of the film – the most entertaining part. I found it quite comical and nostalgic as someone who had a Barbie collection in the 80’s. When Barbie randomly develops cellulite (gasp!), she’s told she must travel to the real world and find the girl playing with her. She and Ken (Ryan Gosling) venture off to find the world is run by men, people are unhappy, and adulting sucks. Ken returns to Barbieland, turns it into ‘Kendom,’ and all the Barbies lose their sense of self. With the help of Gloria, the Barbies work together to reclaim Barbieland.

Free Pink Shoes Wedding Shoes photo and pictureMissing the Mark

What I expected to be a girl power, uplifting film about feminism turned into an anti-male message wrapped in pink and cheesiness. Some scenes went off on such a tangent that any positive messaging was just lost. I will say Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling played their characters well and garnered laughs out of me. However, when Barbie goes to the gynecologist in the end rather than a job interview, it was more of a ‘WTF’ moment. America Ferrera’s positive female-focused monologue just went down the toilet. As a 41-year-old woman, it left me wondering and feeling like I lost brain cells. If you have a young daughter, I imagine this film would be more confusing than empowering.

Bottom line for me – it could have been done better. The depiction of Barbieland was entertaining and fun, but it was not well balanced with what could have been a fantastic message about women. My takeaway is this: it’s cute and slightly odd at times, but I’d wait until this one is streaming. Spend your money on Haunted Mansion or Oppenheimer. You can still wear pink. <3


  1. Barbie was so relatable. Especially as a mother to a teen. Sometimes things are hard and lost in communication. Gloria and her daughter Sasha were able to come together at the end. This was such a real moment. Not only that but the jokes throughout were hilarious. The hard reality that women face daily made me so emotional. This movie gets 10/10 from me. I’m planning to go see it again.


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