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Let’s go Barbie!

Margot+Robbie+plays+the+role+of+Barbie+in+the+new+film+directed+by+Greta+Gerwig+that+was+released+July+21.
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Margot Robbie plays the role of Barbie in the new film directed by Greta Gerwig that was released July 21.

From the moment the first trailer was released, “Barbie” has been a highly anticipated film. If it were anything else, I would be a bit concerned that all of the hype would create something the actual film could never live up to. But I was never concerned with “Barbie.”

The film not only met my expectations, but exceeded them. Director Greta Gerwig has outdone herself in this bubbly film about America’s most well-known doll. It follows Margot Robbie’s Barbie and Ryan Gosling’s Ken as they travel from Barbieland to the real world and learn about the vast differences between the two.

As one trailer marketed the movie, “Barbie” truly is for everyone. For those who grew up playing with Barbie dolls, the film is filled with nostalgia, but those who dislike the idea of Barbie can still find great enjoyment as it pokes fun at itself quite often.

A lot is packed into its almost two hour run time, including the history of the doll and its effect on feminism. Additionally, themes of mental health, traditional gender roles and equality are considered.

Most viewers will leave with some sort of satisfaction from the movie, whether it be from the comedy, the nostalgia or thought-provoking storyline.

The casting for this movie was incredible. Robbie encapsulates a stereotypical Barbie doll so well, it almost seems like she was made for the role. I was a little bit skeptical when first hearing about Ryan Gosling as Ken, but he went above and beyond as a Barbie-obsessed himbo.

Personally though, one of my favorite characters was Allan. Portrayed by Michael Cera, Allan represents one of Mattel’s many discontinued dolls in the movie, hence his tag line “There’s only one Allan,” on the movie posters. His awkwardness, much like most other Michael Cera characters, is endearing and in a world full of Kens, an Allan is very refreshing.

I think what I loved most about this movie is the sense of community it created. For the last week, when I’ve been near movie theaters, all I see is a wave of people dressed in varying shades of pink with huge smiles on their faces. Online, it has brought so many people together to reminisce on their childhoods.

In one current TikTok trend, women post montages of them and their friend groups with songs from the “Barbie” soundtrack in the background to express how grateful they are for girlhood.

“Barbie” has brought expressing joy for historically “girly” things to the forefront. In my opinion, the film at its core is a celebration of femininity, of shameless joy in hot pink and dressing up and sleepovers and gossiping. Of enjoying these things without being labeled as childish or immature. It is a reminder, given at a great time, that it is so important to embrace the smaller things in life and that one does not have to give up their so-called “softness” to accomplish great things.

For this reason I feel that Greta Gerwig has created so much more than just another summer blockbuster. She has created a movie that adults can seek comfort in and children can gain strength from. I will most definitely be seeing this film again and would highly recommend going to the theater and dressing in pink for the full experience.

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Megan Swann, Co-culture editor

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