The Kens take to this patriarchy thing really well (if “well” is a word you can use in this particular situation), and begin acting like their real world counterparts. The conceit here is that the Barbies and Kens and other friends in Barbieland are affected by what’s happening to the kids who are playing with them in the real world. For instance, Stereotypical Barbie loves the song “Closer to Fine” by the Indigo Girls because it’s a favorite of Gloria (America Ferrera), the woman who was playing with this Barbie doll. Ken’s choice is “Push,” and we move from Gosling’s Ken playing for Robbie’s Barbie to all the Kens playing for all the Barbies. The looks on their faces as they tried to listen politely … I’ve been there. You probably have, too.
Every Ken wants to play guitar for his Barbie … scratch that. They want to play guitar at them. You know the type. (The same guys play “Home Sweet Home” on the piano at you.) It’s not about what the person in the room feels or giving them a gift by sharing a love of music. Nope, this is about looking cool and showing off. You know the difference when you hear it or when you see someone doing it. You can just hear the inner monologue; “Man, I look so badass playing this, and it’s real moody. She’ll think I’m deep and, ooh, wait until I hit the high note. Or that one line that sounds so angsty. Closing my eyes now so I look like I’m really feeling it.”
The laughter and women’s heads tilted together during that scene in my screening was off the charts.
“Barbie” is in theaters now.