Marsha on the Move: Barbie

When Business Council of Westchester President Marsha Gordon is not advocating for businesses in the County, she can be found at the cinema or theater. Her “Marsha on the Move” column appears monthly in ArtsNews.

I really couldn’t believe I was going to see Barbie. Yes, I had Barbies growing up. I remember my friend being jealous when I got the one with the red velvet gown, which became a lesson in jealousy from my mother! But most of all… I didn’t expect to absolutely love this movie as much as I did. I even left verklempt… and laughing, empowered and so appreciative of the movie’s intention, which we must all uphold!

This is an incredibly creative film.  The plot is not a silly Barbie plastic story. Instead, it a thought provoking exploration of female – and male – roles in society. It also explores the creation of a culture of extreme gender stereotypes that ultimately ends with a melding of the “Barbies” and the “Kens,” this time with the Barbies in power.

It is also about innovation and entrepreneurship: it tells the story of Ruth Handler, the inventor of Barbie played by the wonderful Rhea Perlman, and the creation of this iconic doll and its place in history.

It is also about a “real” mother and her daughter. The mother, played by America Ferrera, struggles with this relationship and turns to Barbie for comfort. The consequences are both challenging and impactful.

Margot Robbie is the perfect Barbie, even when she is not… and shows that there is so much more to the “superficial” Barbie than what we grew up knowing. She is terrific.

And of course it is about Ken, played by Ryan Gosling who embraces the role with humor. It shows that men can search for meaning, too. Add in Will Ferrell as the not-really-so-evil corporate CEO…and Helen Mirren as the narrator, who brings us back to our reality with perfect words. Add to all of this wonderful singing, choreography, costumes and, of course, the dream house…

This is a delightful, creative, energetic and fun movie.  Take your daughters for sure, and your sons, too! (I loved the Dad sitting next to me wearing pink!)

Brava to Director Greta Gerwig for this cinematic summer treat.

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