Director Greta Gerwig was wise to bring on experienced scribe Noah Baumbach to co-write the screenplay for BARBIE. Together, they have produced a story that is just plain weird – but weird in a good way. Margot Robbie plays the seminal character as we are introduced to her absolutely perfect world of Barbie and Ken. But as one would expect, the perfection starts to crumble, and Barbie and Ken must venture into the real world to figure out what is going wrong.
The LEGO movies have already shown us how to translate children’s toys into funny, interesting storytelling, and this tale taps into that established Zeitgeist. The movie is constantly winking at itself, knowingly playing on the downright silliness of the world of Barbie, but it is Margo who gives us a huge character arc for Barbie. Ryan Gosling is clearly having the most fun, playing up every male stereotype possible.
My only complaint is I would have preferred if the story was less heavy-handed about girls being awesome and boys being self-centered patriarchal pricks, but perhaps that is how girls see boys.
BARBIE is playing in theaters now.