Title: A Playful and Thought-Provoking Ride: Barbie (2023) Review

Rating: ★★★★☆

Barbie, the latest film directed by Greta Gerwig, takes a playful and satirical approach to the beloved doll franchise and delivers a surprisingly poignant commentary on societal stereotypes. As someone who grew up surrounded by Barbie but felt left out of the playtime, I was intrigued to see how this movie would handle the subject matter. And let me tell you, it did not disappoint.


The film understands the importance of not taking itself too seriously, much like the classic TV show did with the film version of  “The Brady Bunch” years ago. It embraces its parody nature and goes beyond being a mere spoof. Instead, Barbie becomes a political statement, challenging the gender stereotypes perpetuated by society.


Margot Robbie’s portrayal of Barbie is nothing short of amazing. She effortlessly captures the iconic doll’s essence while infusing her with depth and complexity. Ryan Gosling, too, shines in his role, perfectly embodying the charm and charisma required for the character of Ken. It’s evident that both actors were born to play these roles, and their chemistry on screen is palpable. Even Micheal Cera, always funny, particularly shines in this as a awkward version of Ken, named Alan. All hilarious. I truly believe we will see Greta, Margot and Ryan accepting many awards for this film come this fall.



Under Gerwig’s direction, Barbie delves into deeper themes and becomes a vessel for political commentary. The film cleverly incorporates discussions about “changing the Barbieland Constitution,” mirroring the ongoing debates surrounding reproductive rights in the United States. The nuanced comedic approach to addressing such a sensitive topic is both impressive and thought-provoking.


It’s worth noting that Barbie has achieved a remarkable feat, becoming the highest-grossing film directed by a woman to date. Greta Gerwig’s skillful direction, combined with the stellar performances and the film’s underlying political message, has resonated with audiences on a grand scale.


As someone who felt left out during childhood playtime with Barbies, I found myself drawn to this film’s exploration of societal expectations and gender roles. It redefines the Barbie narrative, challenging the notion that these dolls are solely for girls, and encourages inclusivity in play and beyond.


While I don’t necessarily agree that everyone should be forced by law to see this film (that’s a bit extreme!), I do believe that Barbie is an essential watch for anyone interested in thought-provoking cinema. Its combination of comedy, social commentary, and heartfelt performances make it a standout entry in the franchise. So, grab your popcorn and go see Barbie—it’s a ride you won’t want to miss! I changed my mind. I think everyone should be forced by law to see this film.

DB Frick
D.B. is a long time writer and performer. He's had the opportunity to work alongside such greats a Martin Scorsese and Jesse Eisenberg. Most recently D.B. was a writer and performer for the podcast The National Lampoon Presents The Final Edition run by comic icon Tony Hendra, whom D.B. has also written with. D.B. was Senior Comedy Writer for The NY Theatre Guide, interviewing many greats and reviewing NYC Comedy. D.B. also has a script used as material in an NYU Tisch writing class taught by mentor, D.B. Gilles. D.B. has also taught Improv and Writing at UCLA and Cambridge University in the United Kingdom.

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