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Summarize this content material to 540 phrases The good joke of “Barbie,” Greta Gerwig’s winking satire of existential angst and patriarchal politics, is that plasticity represents perfection whereas humanity is its abhorrent reverse.It’s a tough balancing act that author/director Gerwig ( “Girl Chicken,” “Little Girls”) and her co-writer/accomplice Noah Baumbach for essentially the most half handle fairly properly and with depraved humour, in a candy-coloured manufacturing that appears like “The Wizard of Oz” on acid. This plastic is incredible.The vanity begins to put on a bit skinny because the movie always shifts between Barbie Land, a woman-led pink paradise free from all bodily defects, and the scary Actual World, represented by a Los Angeles blighted by male domination, cellulite and flat toes.What actually makes this comedy click on are the stellar performances, from the lead function on down. That is the funniest solid I’ve seen in a while.The title doll performed by actor/producer Margot Robbie is one in all many Barbies within the movie, mirroring the various racial and cultural choices of toymaker Mattel, which is depicted as a wacky company of dutiful male drones led by patriarchal putzes, together with a doltish CEO performed by Will Ferrell.Robbie is “Stereotypical Barbie,” the blond and blue-eyed dress-up mannequin of in style consciousness and historic file (though the unique 1959 Barbie was additionally accessible as a brunette).The a number of different Barbies embody ones performed by singer Dua Lipa (who additionally contributes her disco quantity “Dance the Night time” to the powerhouse pop soundtrack), “Insecure” star Issa Rae (President Barbie) and comedy star Kate McKinnon, the latter enjoying a thinker often called “Bizarre Barbie.”This may make Ryan Gosling’s erstwhile Barbie boyfriend the “Stereotypical Ken” among the many various and squabbling Kens (fellow Canuck Simu Liu performs one other), though Gosling’s Ken, a hilarious scene stealer, isn’t known as that within the movie.In truth, nobody’s actually fairly certain what to make of narcissistic surfer dude Ken, least of all himself, a lot to his chagrin. He needs to idiot round with Barbie, however since he and he or she each lack genitals — the movie actually takes the toy facet of this severely — he’s as confused as she is about what they’d rise up to if he really stayed the evening in her pink bed room, the one with the clamshell-shaped mattress.Barbie at one level refers to Ken as being “completely superfluous,” a merciless however correct evaluation of their relationship.Ken’s unhappy disconnect between need and actuality offers “Barbie” its strongest emotional tug — his “Simply Ken” musical lament rivals Jack Black’s “Peaches” wail in “The Tremendous Mario Bros. Film.”Ken additionally turns into an irritant to Barbie, if not an outright nemesis, after his go to to the Actual World convinces him that Barbie Land wants extra man caves, mink fur pimp coats and testosterone tomfoolery.Sure, dopey Ken manages to upstage Barbie in her personal film, which actually ought to have been titled “Barbie and Associates,” though Robbie is a delight each because the plastic doll of her character’s renown and the reworked human she begins to grow to be.Different standouts are Michael Cera — one other Canadian! — as Ken’s bizarre and wild-eyed good friend Allan. All people wonders why he’s hanging round.And there’s the nice Helen Mirren because the movie’s narrator. She will get a lot of the greatest comedy traces as she connects the dots between the plastic and human realms that Barbie and her uninvited tagalong Ken transfer between.Barbie is in search of to grasp why she’s been having unusual ideas these days — akin to whether or not a plastic doll can die — and why the perfection of her Barbie Land existence is abruptly being marred by chilly showers, burnt toast and harmful falls from her balcony.She will get some solutions from Actual World mom and teenage daughter Gloria and Sasha, performed by America Ferrera and Ariana Greenblatt, who wish to shield the entire Barbies from the mansplaining hell of the patriarchal existence they’ve been pressured to endure.Gloria delivers an empowering speech about conflicting feminine expectations that’s clearly modelled on Rosamund Pike’s well-known “Cool Woman” monologue of “Gone Woman,” the David Finch film tailored from Gillian Flynn’s bestselling novel.It’s a brazen steal and never the one one: Gerwig and Baumbach additionally cop the faux horse jape from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” for a scene the place Ken and his pony-loving friends are shifting en masse.Gerwig’s and Baumbach’s imaginative and prescient of Barbie additionally owes a lot to Gerwig’s conflicted feminine protagonists of “Frances Ha” and “Mistress America,” two earlier Gerwig/Baumbach collaborations.And it appears odd that the movie opens with the very same “2001: A Area Odyssey” parody that was used for the primary trailer, launched final December. Did Gerwig and Baumbach determine we’d overlook it from then to now? Telling the identical joke twice isn’t a profitable technique.#BarbieTheMovie, from director Greta Gerwig, solely in theaters Summer time 2023✨ This movie will not be but rated. Some materials could also be inappropriate for kids underneath 13.However actually, ought to we be shocked {that a} film constructed round a mass-production toy isn’t totally authentic? The truth that “Barbie” succeeds in addition to it does is worthy of a toast from a pink cocktail on a scorching summer time’s eve.Starring Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, Kate McKinnon, Simu Liu, America Ferrera, Ariana Greenblatt, Will Ferrell, Emma Mackey, Michael Cera and Issa Rae. Written by Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach. Directed by Greta Gerwig. Opens July 21 in theatres all over the place. 114 minutes. STCStar contributor Peter Howell is a film critic in Toronto. Observe on Twitter: @peterhowellfilm.SHARE:JOIN THE CONVERSATION Anybody can learn Conversations, however to contribute, you need to be a registered Torstar account holder. If you don’t but have a Torstar account, you’ll be able to create one now (it’s free)Signal InRegisterConversations are opinions of our readers and are topic to the Code of Conduct. The Star
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By Maggi

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