Hot Takes are student-written reviews of relevant books (especially books in the library of the Bible), movies, shows, events, technology, and anything interesting or important to students (13-17 years of age). Usually light-hearted, each piece is all about developing a Biblical worldview, increasing Biblical literacy, and supplementing student ministries.
The lighter half of Barbenheimer puts on full display the rich nuances of humanity. And no… we’re not talking about Oppenheimer. Barbie, a fantasy action-comedy film shows us that life in plastic may not be as fantastic as advertised.
Heads-up! If you haven’t seen the movie yet, we’re about to pull some very pink spoilers out of the cardboard box!
Stereotypical Barbie (Margot Robbie) has her best day every day. To her, Barbie World is perfect. But one night an curious thought interrupts the Barbie’s choreographed dance routine.
“Do you guys ever think about dying?” -Barbie
The next morning, Barbie wakes up to a day that is definitely NOT her best day.
Her feet are flat, her breath smells bad, and she’s got [gasp] cellulite. The other Barbie’s tell Barbie to go and visit “weird Barbie,” a Barbie that’s been played with a little too hard. You know the type… bad haircut, marker on the face…
Weird Barbie (Kate McKinnon) instructs Stereotypical Barbie to go into the real world and find the girl who has been playing with her. Desperate to go back to normal, Barbie hops in her pink car, snowmobile, tandem bike, camper, boat, and space shuttle to make her way to the real world. But she’s not alone! Ken (Ryan Gosling) is going with her.
“Barbie has a great day every day, but Ken only has a great day if Barbie looks at him.” -Narrator
Ken defines his life by two things. Barbie… and his very important job of “beach.” As he and Barbie head into the real world, their points of view are radically challenged.
Barbie, who mistakenly believes that Barbie dolls make the real world a great place to be a woman, is not prepared when middle schooler Sasha (Ariana Greenblatt) and her mother Gloria (America Ferrara) reveal a different side of life.
“The real world isn’t what I thought it was.” -Barbie
“It never is.” -Ruth Handler, creator of Barbie
Ken, however, enters a world where he suddenly feels important. Valued.
Woven between costume changes, comedic chase scenes, and a few fantastic songs courtesy of the Kens, Barbie and Ken are led to ask themselves the big questions.
Who am I?
What was I made for?
As we grow up and go into the world, most of us ask these questions too. Thankfully the we find a few clues in God’s Word.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works…” -Ephesians 2:10
We are God’s creation. We are loved by Him, and not just for the things we do. We simply are loved.
For Ken, he must learn that he is more than his relationship to Barbie and more than his job of beach. He’s just Ken and he is “kenough.”
And while Barbie struggles with feeling less important than President Barbie or Doctor Barbie, she eventually realizes that she has the freedom to be what she wants to be — human. Even if it means getting cellulite and crying a lot. It turns out, those things are beautiful too.
“You make known to me the path of life. You will fill me with joy in your presence.” -Psalm 16:11
Barbie invites us to find the beauty in being human, even when the world doesn’t seem to make sense — which it usually doesn’t. As Barbie turns to her creator for guidance and reassurance, we can do the same as we navigate this wild, messy, but beautiful life.