Spoilers for the Barbie Movie: A Unique Feminist Comedy
The cinematic adaptation of the Barbie doll character defies convention, thanks to writer and director Greta Gerwig’s feminist perspective. The film is a comedy that features esoteric pop culture allusions, scholarly jargon, and bombastic acting. Despite its idiosyncratic approach, the movie was a tremendous commercial success, shattering box office records. Remarkably, Gerwig was surprised by the inclusion of certain material and jokes in the final edit.
An Interview with Greta Gerwig
During a recent interview with Radio 1, Greta Gerwig delved into her experience as a director for the summer blockbuster film, providing insight into the thought process behind the script’s unconventional jokes. Despite low expectations for resonance with a broad audience, to Gerwig’s surprise, the unique and unconventional jokes were ultimately included in the final cut of the movie. Gerwig stated:
“THERE ARE LINES IN THIS MOVIE THAT PERHAPS ONLY ONE PERSON WILL FIND FUNNY. LIKE WHEN SHE SAYS, ‘I’M HAVING A REAL PROUSTIAN FLASHBACK,’ AND HE SAYS, ‘REMEMBER PROUST BARBIE? THAT DID NOT SELL VERY WELL.’ I CAN’T BELIEVE WE INCLUDED THESE JOKES IN THE MOVIE. BUT IN A WAY, WE DID WRITE THEM FOR OURSELVES.”
Complex References and Wide Appeal
A subtle reference to Marcel Proust, the renowned French novelist of the early 20th century, is made in the film Barbie through the use of the term “Proustian flashback,” which denotes an involuntary memory trigger. Despite being a high-brow joke, it blends well with the overall tone of the story and is surprisingly fitting. Director Gerwig’s use of intricate references and specific jokes captures a broad audience, from Margot Robbie’s character’s verbose and complex patriarchal rants to nods to 90s pop culture, all woven seamlessly into the narrative.
Gerwig’s Exploration of Girlhood
Greta Gerwig’s expertise in exploring the intricacies of girlhood relationships is evident in her latest project, the Barbie movie. Her previous work, including her directorial debut “Lady Bird” and her modern feminist adaptation of “Little Women,” demonstrates her ability to delve into the complexities of mother-daughter relationships during high school years. Given her expertise in these themes, it is understandable why Gerwig felt compelled to take on the challenge of bringing a fresh perspective to a toy and symbol designed for young girls. According to Gerwig, “I thought, ‘I can’t bear to let anyone else do this.'”
Universality Through Specificity
Gerwig’s ability to make seemingly arbitrary and niche references in her approach to filmmaking lends to a universal and intimate experience for audiences. Viewers can relate to the act of perusing their ex-bestie’s social media while concurrently indulging in “Pride and Prejudice,” or being serenaded by a man with a Matchbox 20 song. Despite initial pushback from Mattel, the toy company ultimately recognized Gerwig’s vision and granted her the creative freedom to infuse her signature intellect and wit into their beloved intellectual property.
See “Barbie” in Theaters
Make sure you catch the Barbie movie sensation during its theatrical release before it becomes accessible on digital DVD and streaming platforms. To stay informed about upcoming highly anticipated movies scheduled to hit theaters this year, refer to our 2023 movie release schedule.