Barbie is a film about a pink-studded plastic doll from a surreal land where everything seems perfect so long as you don’t question it. When she ventures into the human world, namely Los Angeles, she comes face to face with the equally surreal nature of this society. In Barbieland, everything is possible if you’re Barbie. In LA, everything is possible if you’re a certain kind of man.
The film does a great job at leaning into the joke of how absurd patriarchy is. The characters and story walk a fine line between being all a big joke and being humanized by reflecting on the systems that make you feel it’s probably better to just laugh at the hardship and nonsense than to put up a fight. It comments on the many ways people learn to cope and bend over backwards to conform to rules that largely only benefit people already in power.
If you want some validation that this system is rigged and gender constructs are a prison, this film is a fun escape. It has a heartfelt message about finding your own meaning in a world full of norms to follow. If you’re looking for a more nuanced exploration of what it means to break free and truly challenge the status quo, you will have to keep that conversation going, beyond the scope of this film.