My BARBIE film review (No Spoilers):

My expectations for this film were high, and the movie’s beginning met them, but by the second half, the premise felt stuck in a box, like the Mattel Executives, led by Will Farrell, used to trap Barbie (Bonus points for director Greta Gerwigs’s clever Proust reference). I absolutely loved the performances of the two leads, especially Ryan Gosling, who steals the show as Ken. Unfortunately, having Mattel as the real-life production company of the film kept it from being the cutting satire I was hoping for. As Barbie (played by Margot Robbie) comes to ‘the real world’ the commentary on current society is reductive and tired. Casting construction workers as heavy-set, horny, unkempt misogynistic men challenges no one since most would agree their behavior is abhorrent. The Lego movie, which could have fallen into similar legacy-branding traps, kept the promise of its premise and had surprising moments till the end because it was about the evergreen idea of embracing what makes you unique instead of playing out current gender politics. Barbie is a fun movie with solid laughs but, in the end, the themes don’t wrap into a satisfying story. It feels like watching the roast of a celebrity who got to make sure all the jokes weren’t too mean.

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