A ChucksConnection Film Review


Ariana Greenblatt wears golden glitter low top and black high top Converse “Chuck Taylor” All Stars in the film.



by Marcus Angulo

Barbie still 1

Hi Barbie!


Toys are maybe the most formative thing in our children’s lives. Think about the toys you had when you were a kid, and how they may have steered your career choice or interests. Perhaps no toy has ever had more of an impact on the development of children throughout history than Barbie. The fashion doll changed girls’ toys forever when she was introduced in 1959, and she has withstood changing times throughout the decades. She also has expanded into a multimedia franchise that includes video games, computer-animated films, and television/web series. A live-action film has been in development purgatory for over a decade, but after Warner Bros. acquired the rights in 2018, they cast Margot Robbie as the lead and brought on Greta Gerwig to write and direct. Barbie was released on July 21, 2023, and has grossed over $1.4 billion, becoming the highest-grossing film of 2023 and the 14th highest-grossing film of all time. The film stars an all-star cast that features Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, Issa Rae, Kate McKinnon, Alexandra Shipp, Emma Mackey, Hari Nef, Simu Liu, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Ncuti Gatwa, Michael Cera, America Ferrera, Ariana Greenblatt, Helen Mirren, and Will Ferrell.

Barbie still 2

Greta Gerwig joins the Barbie squad in this behind-the-scenes shot.

The film opens with an introduction to Barbie, the doll. The Narrator (Mirren) tells us that before Barbie, dolls were always baby dolls. Then Barbie changed everything. Barbie was a woman who could be anything she wanted to be. Doctor, lawyer, astronaut, zookeeper, veterinarian, firefighter, the possibilities were endless which meant that the possibilities for women were endless too. In today’s world, the Barbies live in Barbieland, a matriarchal society populated by different versions of Barbies, Kens, and other miscellaneous models. Stereotypical Barbie (Robbie) represents the base Barbie doll, and she loves her life in Barbieland. She is friends with all the other Barbies who hold all the prestigious jobs in science, politics, media, and so on. Beach Ken (Gosling) is only happy when he is noticed by or with Barbie, and he yearns for their relationship to be something more. Unfortunately, for him though, Barbie doesn’t really care about him, and instead focuses her energy on her friendships with the other Barbies and other activities. One night at a lowkey, blowout dance party, Barbie is suddenly hit with worries about dying, and everyone is stunned. Barbies don’t think about that kind of stuff, especially when dancing to a bespoke Dua Lipa song. The next day, weird stuff happens to Barbie. She burns her food, falls off her roof, and starts walking with her feet flat on the ground. The other Barbies tell her to see Weird Barbie (McKinnon), who tells her that there is someone in the Real World who is having these thoughts while playing with Barbie, thus causing her to feel the same way. Barbie must go to the Real World, and find this person to save all of reality from folding in on itself.


Barbie still 3

Hey it’s Ken’s bud Alan!


Barbie heads to the Real World and Ken tags along because he needs to be with Barbie. They end up in Venice, California, where Barbie punches a guy out and they get arrested. This arrest alerts the FBI who then tell Mattel that a Barbie (and Ken) is loose in the Real World. Mattel's CEO (Ferrell) orders their recapture by any means necessary, and the Mattel goons start a manhunt for the world’s most famous doll. Meanwhile, Barbie tracks down her owner, a teenage girl named Sasha (Greenblatt), who absolutely roasts her for encouraging unrealistic beauty standards and setting feminism back. Distraught, Barbie finds out that Gloria (Ferrera), a Mattel employee and Sasha's mother, inadvertently caused her existential crisis after Gloria began playing with Sasha’s old Barbie toys while depressed. Meanwhile, Ken learns about something called the patriarchy and feels respect for the first time in his life. He returns to Barbieland feeling that not only does he not need Barbie anymore, but that he has found something to make him feel whole. Barbie escapes the clutches of Mattel with Gloria and Sasha’s help, and the three travel to Barbieland to hopefully fix everything. What they find is truly horrifying: Barbieland is now Kendom, and the Kens now rule all. The Barbie Dream House is now Ken’s Mojo Dojo Casa House and none of the Barbies are doing their jobs or following their dreams. They’re just serving the Kens. It is up to Barbie to find a way to save Barbieland and the Real World from Ken, whether she wants to or not.


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Get in the van Alan!

The best thing about this movie is that by every measure you can muster, it goes for it. Sets, props, wardrobe, writing, acting, every facet of the film totally buys in on the concept they are going for and that’s what makes the movie. Robbie is the heart and soul of the movie, and her emotional scenes land home very well. She also nails the comedic moments, with her line about not controlling the railroads being a standout. Gosling is so bought into and invested in Ken in a way that literally no other human in the history of the world has ever been, that you have to stand in awe at the pure Kenergy. Like give him the Oscar, Ken has nothing else. The rest of the cast is great, but the two leads have the most to do so they shine the most. This movie could have been longer, though, to really flesh out some of the themes they were pushing, especially regarding the dynamic between Barbie and Ken. However, this doesn’t stop this from being one of the most fun films of the year, and hopefully Hollywood learns the right lesson from the film’s success: go all in on your theme and your world with no shame or cynicism.

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Weird Barbie has a weird dream house.

Best Chucks Scene

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Ariana Greenblatt was able to get her own black personalized chucks to be part of Sasha’s wardrobe!


Ariana Greenblatt plays Sasha in this film, and she managed to get her personal chucks to be part of Sasha’s wardrobe. She wore her black high top chucks (that feature spider webs she drew on the toecaps) to her costume fittings. The costumer loved them so they were made part of Sasha’s wardrobe pre-Barbieland visit! This gives Sasha so much character as she prides herself on being rebellious and one of a kind, just like her chucks. The best chucks scene in the film comes later though, as Sasha conspires with the Barbies to take back Barbieland from the Kens. Sasha is now wearing golden glitter chucks and she gives a talk that lays out the final part of their plan. These gold chucks show how she has grown through the movie while staying true to herself. She is still a rebel, but she can embrace that sparkle once in a while too.

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Sasha reveals the final part of the plan in her gold chucks.

Barbie. (2023) Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, Issa Rae, Kate McKinnon, Alexandra Shipp, Emma Mackey, Hari Nef, Simu Liu, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Ncuti Gatwa, Michael Cera, America Ferrera, Ariana Greenblatt, Helen Mirren, Will Ferrell.
Written and directed by Greta Gerwin. Categories: Romance, Science Fiction.
ChucksConnection Rating: Three Chuckss rating MPAA Rating: PG-13


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