Director Greta Gerwig scored the biggest opening for a female director with Barbie, based on the iconic doll, complete with a bright and colorful look. The highly anticipated live-action movie followed Stereotypical Barbie, played by Margot Robbie, as she began to experience flat feet and thoughts of death. Accompanied by Ken, played by Ryan Gosling, Barbie’s quest for an explanation as to what was happening to her led her to the Real World, where she met the girl who once played with her and her mother and learned just how different the two worlds are.
With a script by Gerwig and co-writer Noah Baumbach, Barbie is wonderfully funny while also offering up clever commentary on feminism, toxic masculinity, and more. Barbie‘s best quotes reflect that, from Ken’s simple misunderstandings to insightful observations about life and a powerful speech about the challenges woman face every day.
Updated on August 11, 2023, by Hannah Saab:
Barbie has just joined the billion-dollar club, officially making Greta Gerwig the first solo female director to achieve this at the global box office. As viewers continue to flock to cinemas to watch (or rewatch) the wildly popular film, it’s the perfect time to revisit some of the best quotes from the Barbie movie.
10 “When I found out the patriarchy wasn’t about horses, I lost interest anyway.”
When Stereotypical Barbie embarks on her quest to find who’s playing with her, Ken stows away in the back to go with her, rollerblades in tow. They both discover how different the Real World is from Barbie Land and while Barbie is shocked, Ken takes notes and returns to Barbie Land with his new knowledge, shifting the power from the Barbies to the Kens. The Barbies have been brainwashed to go along with it.
But Ken doesn’t really believe in everything he saw and learned in the Real World. He wanted Barbie’s attention and to step out of her shadow, not undermine her completely. When she confronts him about what he made Barbie Land into, he says he didn’t mean for it to go so far – he just really liked horses, showing his innocence (and showing off Ryan Gosling’s comedic talent).
9 “Ask your mother.”
Barbie opens with a scene of little girls playing with baby dolls in a setting that’s a clear reference to the sci-fi classic 2001: A Space Odyssey. The narrator, voiced by Helen Mirren, comments, saying that “can be fun…for a while, anyway.” She adds, “Ask your mother,” and as the little girls stand in awe of the new Barbie before them – the Barbie version of A Space Odyssey‘s mysterious monolith – they smash their baby dolls.
It’s a funny line from Barbie because of what it implies – motherhood is hard work. It also suggests that Barbie introduced a new way to play with dolls, and it’s the first time the film touches on the theme of motherhood, which returns near the end.
8 “Do you guys ever think about dying?”
In Barbie Land, everything is perfect. Stereotypical Barbie starts every morning with a smile, then chooses the perfect outfit for the day and sits down for a perfect breakfast. She spends her day at the beach with her fellow Barbies and the Kens, and in the evening, she hosts a huge dance party in her elaborately designed Barbie Dreamhouse where she blurts out, “Do you guys ever think about dying?” – from that moment on, Barbie’s days stop being so perfect.
It’s a hilarious moment, with the statement juxtaposed by upbeat music and a choreographed dance number. It sets the tone for the rest of the movie, balancing humor with larger issues dealing with life.
7 “Thanks to Barbie, all problems of feminism have been solved.”
In Barbie Land, the iconic dolls run everything, and there’s nothing they haven’t accomplished. They’re successful writers, doctors, and politicians, and they can’t even imagine a world in which this isn’t the case, leading the narrator to declare “all problems of feminism have been solved.”
As they soon learn, this is an overly simplistic view, and the Real World is very different from Barbie Land. In fact, some people—notably Sasha, the girl who once played with the movie’s stereotypical Barbie—feel the opposite is true, that Barbie has been detrimental to women. She believes that the proliferation of Barbie movies, dolls, and other merch do more harm than good.
6 “You’ve been making women feel bad about themselves since you were invented.”
Stereotypical Barbie seeks out the girl who is playing with her, at first assumed to be tween Sasha – but when Barbie finds Sasha, played by Ariana Greenblatt, she learns that not only has Sasha stopped playing with Barbie, but she has some harsh words for her about her influence.
Sasha’s reaction to Barbie touches on actual criticisms of the doll and shows just how different some of the perceptions of her are. Barbie Land may present a world where girls run the world, but to many like Sasha, the doll represents an outdated stereotype that harms women, not empowers them.
5 “That’s life. It’s all change.”
After Barbie’s upsetting encounter with Sasha, Barbie realizes it’s actually Sasha’s mother, Mattel CEO’s assistant Gloria, played by America Ferrera, that’s been playing with her, which explains a lot about Barbie’s thoughts of death. The three women return to Barbie Land together and discover the changes Ken has made in the process.
As a mom, Gloria has plenty of words of wisdom for Barbie. Gloria tells Barbie that life is change, reflecting everything from major changes as people grow from children to adults to smaller changes in appearances and everyday life.
4 “It is literally impossible to be a woman.”
As the Barbies face what Ken has done to their world, Gloria gives an impassioned speech about what it means to be a woman and how impossible and contradictory the standards are, from physical appearance to personality traits. Her words are so impactful that they actually undo the Kens’ brainwashing, helping the Barbies set a plan in motion to get through to all the other brainwashed Barbies and regain control of Barbie Land.
It’s Ferrera’s best moment in the film and one of the highlights overall. It drives home the movie’s feminist theme, but it also serves a greater purpose – it actually moves the plot forward as the key to undoing the brainwashing.
3 “We mothers stand still so our daughters can look back and see how far they have come.”
As Barbie runs through the Mattel offices trying to escape, she finds an older woman in a cozy kitchen, later revealed to be Barbie creator Ruth Handler, played by Rhea Perlman. Although they only share a few moments together initially before Barbie has to leave, Ruth visits Barbie Land at the end of the film, and she’s full of wisdom for Barbie, similar to Gloria.
Ruth’s conversation with Barbie returns to the theme of motherhood. Ruth is a mother figure to Barbie not just a creator, but because she based Barbie on her own daughter, Barbara. One of the many points Ruth makes is that mothers strive to make the world better for their daughters, sometimes making lots of sacrifices in the process.
2 “Humans only have one ending. Ideas live forever.”
By the end of the movie, Barbie’s been through a lot. After she and Ruth enter a vast white void, Barbie confesses to Ruth that she doesn’t feel like a Barbie anymore and doesn’t know where to go from here. One of the many things Ruth tells Barbie is, “Humans only have one ending. Ideas live forever.”
Some of the film’s most poignant lines and moments come from the conversation between the important Barbie character Ruth and the protagonist. Here, Ruth touches on mortality – humans’ time on earth is finite, but what we put out into the world is not. The line also hints that as the creator of Barbie, Ruth is, in a way, immortal.
1 “You’re beautiful.” “I know.”
Stereotypical Barbie & The Woman on the Bench
Barbie’s time in the Real World is off to a rough start, and she sits on a bench for a quiet moment to herself. She sees an old woman seated nearby, played by Ann Roth, and smiles at her, then tells her she’s beautiful. “I know,” the woman says matter-of-factly but with a smile.
Barbie has never seen an old woman before, as they don’t exist in Barbie Land, and her reaction to having cellulite earlier in the movie sets up the expectation that she’d be shocked by wrinkles. Instead, Barbie thinks the woman is beautiful, and rather than being shocked and flattered by the compliment, the woman simply agrees. It’s one of Barbie’s most powerful moments, and it’s a beautiful one that says a lot about beauty standards and self-love.
Barbie suffers a crisis that leads her to question her world and her existence.
- Release Date
- July 21, 2023
- Greta Gerwig
- Margot Robbie, Simu Liu, Ryan Gosling, Helen Mirren, Ariana Greenblatt
- 114 minutes
NEXT: The Movies That Inspired ‘Barbie’, According to Greta Gerwig
SOURCE : collider.com