I must confess that, at first, I was against seeing the Barbie Movie. Frankly, I seldom go to the theater. But I took a deep dive last week while in Houston. I’m glad I did. It was hilarious. This satirical comedy skewered just about everyone from Mattel’s commitment to profit to the personal struggles regarding tax evasion of Barbie’s creator, Ruth Handler. Barbie herself is confronted with the unrealistic body expectations she exhibits.
MOVIEGOERS ARE FLOCKING TO THE BARBIE MOVIE
The movie has been a total success, expected to reach $1 billion worldwide at the box office. I understand why. I agree with Today Show host Jenna Bush Hager’s assessment of the film. She stated that the movie showed “what it means to be human, what it means to be a woman, what it means to be a mother, all of those things.”
WHAT CRITICS ARE SAYING ABOUT THE BARBIE MOVIE
What amazes me is some critics, such as Conservative broadcaster Candace Owens are criticizing it without even seeing it. This seems to be a trend lately. She refuses to see the movie for its anti-man agenda. According to Newsweek, Ms. Owens said:
“While we are pretending that women are suffering under the foot of the patriarchy, what’s actually happening is that toxic feminism has risen to the top and is actually oppressing men with movements that make entirely no sense,” she said on the Candace Owens Podcast. She continued that within the movie “men are either idiots or bigots or sad, and when they demonstrate any form of masculinity they must be put back into their boxes by women. I’m just not interested.”
Her response puzzles me. I’ve known many women in our patriarchal society who define themselves by their male partners and who seem not to be able to form an identity of their own. Barbie tells Ken (in her matriarchal society) to be his own person. In truth, we all need to be our own persons.
Senator Ted Cruz has also jumped into the fray. Cruz admitted he had not seen the movie but homed in on what he had seen: Barbie’s map. Barbie draws a map as she is preparing to go to the real world. Next to a large clump of scribbled Crayon called Asia is a curved, dotted line.
“What those lines indicate is the Communist Party of China puts out official maps with those nine dashes and they’re asserting sovereignty over the entire South China sea,” Cruz said. “They’re saying all of that is China’s and, by the way all of their neighbors disagree.” Cruz believes the lines are Hollywood’s attempt to appease China’s censors. This accusation has been made about the U.S. film industry since China became the world’s largest film market in 2020, according to NPR.
(Really? You’ve got to be kidding me!)
At least Ben Shapiro, conservative political pundit, saw the movie. He was so irate that he set alight Barbie, then went on a rant criticizing the film as one of “the most woke movies” he’d ever seen.
THE BARBIE MOVIE IS BEING REVIEW BOMBED
The film has ruffled some feathers and appears to be under bombardment. The AV Club defines review bombing as groups of people expressing “their displeasure with something by going to review aggregation platforms and leaving negative review en masse.”
According to the AV Club:
And now it seems to be happening to Barbie, specifically on Rotten Tomatoes. As noticed by MovieWeb, the “Audience Score” for the Greta Gerwig film is hovering around 86 percent positive (based on thousands of verified ratings from regular people), as compared to 90 percent from critics. But, if you bring unverified ratings into it, which is to say random strangers hiding behind entirely anonymous usernames, that number drops to 74 percent positive.
WHAT IS YOUR ASSESSMENT OF BARBIE THE MOVIE?
See the movie and let me know what you think.