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‘Barbie’ review: Sublime!

This movie was totally off my radar for quite a while. There had been rumours about the movie as early as the late 2010s, a time when my media diet consisted of all the MCU, Fast and the Furious, and Transformers movies I could handle. In 2016 Amy Schumer was attached, and then quickly exited the project and I still didn’t particularly care because I was too deep into trying to figure out why The Nice Guys wasn’t receiving more attention (a case that remains to be cracked to this day).

But then in 2019 Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach were attached as writers, with Margot Robbie to star. And in 2021 Gerwig also signed on to direct. And all of the sudden a project that was barely a passing thought for a decade became something I couldn’t ignore. And so by the time the movie released, I was there on opening day in the best pastel beachwear I could dig out of my closet, and I had a blast.

There’s so much to love in this production from the costuming and set design (everything was made 77% smaller than its real-life counterpart to reflect the scale that Barbie and her playsets are made to) to the music that will undoubtably dominate awards season (I’m Just Ken is inimitably meme-able and What Was I Made For is tragic but hopeful).

In the coming days the Internet will undoubtably make much ado about the feminist reading of the movie and while I think it’s a worthy and interesting conversation, I also really liked the related question it asks about whether our creations have inherent meaning, or if our culture and values constantly change and so that meaning can never be pinned down. It’s a question for Barbie and maybe the ultimate question being asked of us now.

She’s everything.

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