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Every Thought We Had While Watching ‘Barbie’

It’s fantastic. Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

It finally happened: On Friday, the Barbie movie premiered, convinced everyone you know to scrounge something pink from the back of their closet, and stacked $155 million in ticket sales over its first weekend alone. Now that we’ve seen the film that was shrouded in pink mystery all year, we have a few questions: Who would actually buy a Mojo Dojo Casa House? Has anyone ID’d the year and designer of Barbie’s palazzo pants? Will there ever be justice for men named Allan?

She’s everything, he’s just Ken, and we’re here to talk about all things Barbie for the last time. (At least until awards season when we hope Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling receive their rightful acknowledgment from the various entertainment academies.) Spoilers below, obviously.

Brooke Marine, deputy culture editor: I really enjoyed this movie — enough to see it twice — and to be honest, I liked it even more on the second viewing.

Allison Davis, features writer: I accidentally saw this movie three times. I think two is optimal.

Danya Issawi, fashion news writer: I’ve never finished a movie and wanted to see it again immediately until this one.

Brooke: It does have “again, again!” vibes once the “Barbie Girl” remix starts playing. So, first question: Would you buy Ken’s Mojo Dojo Casa House?

Tarkor Zehn, producer, In Her Shoes: ABSOLUTELY NOT!

Danielle Cohen, news writer: If I were a horse girl, perhaps …

Tariro Mzezewa, morning blogger: Hell to the no, to the no, no no. You just know podcasts were recorded in that house.

Tarkor: Ken was very representative of current-day manosphere culture. It was giving white Kevin Samuels.

Brooke: I did think the movie has smart things to say about how the patriarchy hurts men, too. (Especially ones named Allan.) And I don’t expect a big-budget studio movie to carry the burden of being ideologically sound on every level or of being radical, which so many other people apparently seem to demand from this movie. Also, I don’t care about the plot holes. It was fun.

Danielle: I thought it was far from ideologically sound, but (maybe this is sacrilege) had far more interesting things to say about masculinity than about anything else. In a way, that was productive for us all to chew on.

Brooke: I also loved catching the references … some Lubitsch, some Cukor, some Gene Kelly. Like, sorry for enjoying a mainstream cultural moment that really is fun for the whole family! The last time I felt moved to participate in something of similar caliber and scale was when Renaissance dropped last year.

Tarkor: Yes! A tad heavy-handed on the 2013 feminist monologue, but I’ll deal.

Danielle: More than a tad, I would say.

Brooke: Now, you know you can’t get through a Gerwig joint without a monologue …

Tariro: I loved America Ferrera’s monologue, even if it was extremely girlbossy! It reminded me of her monologue in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants after the brick. But the final montage was a bridge too far for me.

Allison: Ryan was acting with every li’l millimeter of his eyes. So much pathos and fun and confusion and love.

Tariro: Oscar for Ryan, IMO. But Margot was also excellent.

Danielle: I rolled my eyes a bunch, but also I cried!! I think Ryan stole the show, but incredible mime acting from Margot. And she’s a great crier.

Matthew Schneier, features writer: I also thought Margot Robbie was legitimately terrific. Like … an Oscar-winning doll?  I thought Ryan’s acting was good — I seem to be in the minority on not being blown away — but I really need him to get a Men’s Health cover so I can understand how a man in his mid-40s has that body. I mean, the pecs! The topography …

Allison: I took my 7-year-old nephew, who is now obsessed with Ken. His three questions: What is a fascist? What is a gynecologist? How is Ken SO BUFF!

Danielle: The three mysteries of life!

Brooke: Matthew, I agree. And I figured some of the abs were sprayed on, but there was a biceps flex that was a little shocking to me … what was the routine? Also: Justice for Allan.

Tariro: Michael Cera’s timing was so good!

Danielle: I think my favorite line of the movie was “All his clothes fit me.”

Danya: Michael Cera was incredible. Ken never said sorry for the coup :/

Brooke: I am obsessed with “I’m Just Ken” and the moment their war turns into a Gene Kelly musical.

Danielle: The way this movie loved choreography really brought me joy.

Brooke: The giddyap-ing on the fake horses sent me. I have to ask: Over which outfit do we want to make the most commotion? The palazzo pants made me laugh, but I rolled my eyes a bit at Stereotypical Barbie’s Chanel handbag — the heart-shaped one near the end.

Danielle: I guess it’s to be expected, but this is the best press Chanel has ever gotten. Has anyone been able to identify the archival outfits Ken threw off the Dreamhouse’s second floor?


Danya: Everyone is going to be Cowgirl Barbie for Halloween.

Tariro: A girl in my theater was already in the cowgirl outfit.

Katja Vujić, social-media editor: I was very into Issa’s president jumpsuit at the end. Tracksuit? Either way, so good. Also loooved the cowgirl fit.

Danya: I loved Issa, she ate.

Tarkor: Issa ate downnn.

Brooke: Tom Stourton appearing for .2 seconds to play Earring Magic Ken: I was chuffed to see him.

Danielle: I love that Weird Barbie was always in the splits. The way that doll stuff translated to humans was so imaginative and fun! Like, yes, of course that fucked-up doll was tossed into a bin, legs fully splayed out.

Brooke: Ken’s favorite song being “Push,” by Matchbox Twenty, is genius.

Matthew: Unfortunately, I also love that song and felt chastened.

Brooke: I was sad to discover that Saoirse Ronan and Timothée Chalamet were supposed to have cameos but were too busy.

Danya: Absolutely tragic. What do you mean, you’re busy? Can’t make enough time for your own mom?

Danielle: I’m okay with that. It was crowded enough as is. But imagine: The Kens learn about the patriarchy, then become completely undone by Timmy’s entire vibe.

Tariro: I am scared to ask this but … did anyone else think Barbie shouldn’t have chosen to be human?

Danya: Yes. Like, hello, Barbieland is chill again, and your friends are there??

Allison: YES. It was a horrible choice! You just spent two hours learning how bad the real world is, and also you’re gonna die now.

Brooke: Rhea Perlman literally told her being alive sucks, and she still chose that … damn.

Jordan Larson, features editor: I honestly thought she was gonna die at the end, though I guess becoming human is kinda like dying?

Allison: Being alive sucks and then you die. And that’s what you chose!?

Danya: Barbie will be on SSRIs in six weeks.

Allison: That and the pale-pink Birkenstocks felt like a betrayal.

Katja: The shot of the Birks at the end thrilled me.

Danielle: Depression Barbie incoming.

How Did Ken Get So Buff?