I Went To See ‘Barbenheimer’ But Should Have Stuck With Just ‘Oppenheimer’

in Culture

How did Barbenheimer come into existence? Is it because there is something inherently funny about combining a movie as hyperfeminine as Barbie with one as ultramasculine as Oppenheimer? Is it a marketing ploy deployed by a strike-breaking and strike-broken film industry eager to get people back into theaters? Or is it actually just an excuse for dudebros to play with dolls and not feel embarrassed? “I’m just here for the meme,” Ken 1 whispers to Ken 2 when, really, they’re both there for Barbie. And Margot Robbie. 

I personally didn’t need an excuse to go see Barbie, which I’d been excited for ever since I learned the film would be written and directed by Greta Gerwig. Gerwig previously made Ladybird, which I really enjoyed, as well as Little Women, which I often tell people I’ve seen when in fact I haven’t, but which I’m sure is also pretty good. I mean, if from here on out we are going to be bombarded with blockbusters based on fetishized consumer products, then the least that Hollywood executives can do is give those blockbusters to filmmakers that genuinely care about their craft. It worked out well for Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s giant Nike-ad Air, I remember thinking as I bought a ticket, so why shouldn’t it also work for Barbie?

Sadly, I was wrong. What’s worse, I should have known I was wrong. I should have known this when, during one of the more recent trailers for the film, I saw Will Farrell playing a CEO as cartoonishly evil as Ryan Gosling’s Ken was cartoonishly stupid. ‘Barbieland’ is a wildly imaginative set, and the music and choreography are great, too. However, good looks do not make a good movie, and I honestly do …

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Author: Tim Brinkhof / High Times

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