'Barbie' Movie Trailer: Why I'm REALLY Worried After It

Barbie Movie Emma Mackey Barbie Simu Liu Ken Margot Robbie Barbie Ryan Gosling Ken Warner Bros. Pictures
 Warner Bros. Pictures

Ever since the “Barbie” movie trailer premiered, the live-action adaptation of the iconic doll has been accruing buzz with everyone – except me. The great Greta Gerwig directs from her script, with Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling (among others) playing Barbie and Ken. Watch the sneak peek below and see if you agree before reading my take afterward.

First, the best song in the “Barbie” trailer is Mama Cass’s “Make Your Own Music.” Now to the missing pieces in this Barbie box. Where are Skipper, Stacie, and Kelly? Where is Barbie’s impressive wardrobe? Why does she feel nothing for Ken (or the Kens)? This Barbie fan will be waiting for the movie and a full synopsis to watch.

Whatever the story turns out to be, Cher Horowitz (“Clueless”) and Elle Woods (“Legally Blonde”) beat the “Barbie” movie to the punch, toying with the Barbie motif. Or, more correctly, the Barbie stereotype despite her ever-expanding career achievements. Cher and Elle equal popular “dumb blonde” with a gaggle of friends, a top-tier wardrobe, and to whom there is more than meets the eye.

Elle and Cher’s non-plastic shoes may be hard to fill. 

For some of us, this “Barbie” movie has a lot riding on it. The live-action film is a long-time coming. You see, Barbie was more than a doll when I was growing up. She was a way of life, a chance to escape into another reality. Unlike today’s screen-obsessed children, my sister and I played with Barbies constantly. Barbie transported us to Dream House dream worlds where anything was possible.

In it, we controlled “world-building” our vision for Barbie’s life. We handled her love life with Ken (there was drama!), struggles with work-life balance (Ken wanted her home more), and navigating challenging family dynamics (raising her little sisters). The “Barbie” movie trailer looks ready to address none of that in the feature-length film. 

Does Hollywood know how long this Barbie fan has waited for a movie? 

Specifically, a live-action movie that would properly cover Barbie and the world conjured by Mattel. As a fan of Greta Gerwig’s past work, she deserves the benefit of the doubt regarding her “Barbie” script. That said, there is a sinking suspicion that the Oscar-nominated director could have made a campy “mainstream” Barbie movie. 

The “Barbie” movie trailer does not mention Barbie’s little sisters -- Skipper, Stacie, and Kelly. Where is the recognition of Barbie’s mythology? Yes, there are a ton of Barbies and Kens. But what about Barbie’s friends? Theresa and Midge, to name a few. While the teasers does not show or acknowledge them, Midge and Allan are at least confirmed. Where are the other characters, though?

Barbie’s sisters are a huge part of her story. The curious absence of the Roberts family is a huge question mark that could have been explored. Of course, this suggests that the “Barbie” movie would take Barbie’s story seriously. This does not appear to be the case in the trailer.

Final Thoughts

The truth is the best “Barbie” movie has already been made. It is “Life-Size” with Tyra Banks and Lindsey Lohan. The storyline had fun with the idea of a doll coming to life and how she would handle living in the real world. That made-for-TV movie was nothing short of brilliant. The case of the “Barbie” movie remains to be seen. 

I had hoped for a take on Barbie similar to the interpretation of “Elf” on Santa Claus and that whole mythos. That does not appear to be the “Barbie” movie’s direction. Of course, I am excited to see the talented Margot Robbie play Barbie. Ever since seeing her in “Pan Am,” I thought she could bring the beloved doll to life. At least that dream has come true. The other parts may not be included.

The “Barbie” movie starring Margot Robbie arrives in theaters (and only theaters) on July 21.