Commentary: ‘Barbie’ is for the boys

News & Politics

This article is part of an ongoing series in which Blaze Media writers react to the “Barbie” movie. For other installments see here, here, here, and here.

Despite the right’s usual humorless complaints about woke propaganda, the real message of the new “Barbie” movie comes through loud and clear: Ryan Gosling is for the boys. And his sly performance as Ken anchors a flick as proudly traditional as BB guns and Easy-Bake Ovens.

The script can mention “patriarchy” all it wants (eight times, by my count), but there’s no denying where Barbie’s sympathy lies. Hint: it’s not with the sullen pre-teen who makes Margot Robbie cry by calling her a “fascist.” Ken may be a simp, but Gosling plays him with a certain guileless swagger. By the time he topples Barbie Land’s gynocracy with some moves he picked up in the real world, you totally get why the Barbies go along with it. Ken’s got game!

We never stop rooting for Robbie’s Barbie either. Despite their differences, both characters remain fundamentally good-hearted and likeable. Two attractive blond people and they’re not coded as villains? How did this get greenlit?

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Yes, Barbie “wins” in the end, but there are no real bad guys here. Will Ferrell’s Mattel CEO is supposed to be a bumbling patriarch, but ultimately just wants to restore order in Barbie Land. And Gosling is so charismatic and cool that the movie seems to realize it’s pointless to try to make us hate him. When Ken gets red-pilled by his visit to the real world, it’s not from trolling “toxic” forums and enjoying misogyny with his fellow “incels.” It’s from observing wholesome moments of dudes being dudes: guys fist-bumping in the gym and cops on horseback. Sure, there’s also an obligatory scene of an executive bro being rude to his lady assistant, but it’s all so mild it may as well be a misunderstanding.

Gosling’s coup is no hostile takeover. He livens up the place with much-needed bro energy – and, honestly, everyone seems to be having a much better time than under the previous regime. Conservatives take note: like his fellow Chads Donald Trump and Tucker Carlson, Ken shows us that nothing persuades like the spectacle of man living well and having fun. Enough with the complaints; let’s take the W on “Barbie” and get back to enjoying summer.

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