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Blueprint

The student news site of Jones College Prep High School

Blueprint

The student news site of Jones College Prep High School

Blueprint

Plastic fantastic

“Barbie” beats out the rest of 2023’s movies
Plastic+fantastic

This past year has seen some amazing movies, but “Barbie” blows them out of the water worldwide and dominates both in its stellar content and overwhelming financial success.

“Barbie,” directed by indie favorite Greta Gerwig, follows Margot Robbie playing the fan-favorite doll as she ventures into the real world, followed by Ryan Gosling’s Ken. During Barbie’s adventure out of the matriarchal Barbieland, she finds the humans who have been playing with her and confronts topics in the real world like misogyny, growing up, and self-doubt. Ken also wreaks havoc during the movie by taking over Barbieland with his “mojo-dojo” masculinity until his eventual defeat by the Barbies. The movie concludes with Barbie leaving superficiality behind and deciding to join human society, even with all its flaws like misogyny and personal insecurity.

The complexity of “Barbie” delves deep into misogyny and what it means to be a woman in our society. Barbie first feels concerned when she begins to experience human things like self-doubt and cellulite, however, throughout the movie she discovers the superficiality of Barbieland and being Barbie. As Barbie begins to feel the issues of existing in a patriarchal society, she starts to appreciate real life and realize these conflicts are what make her a woman. She grows sick of being this “stereotypical Barbie” character and learns that the troubles of womanhood and being a human living a complex life can help her find the key to happiness. The magic of “Barbie” is its relevant real-world implications about gender and personhood. Being a woman does not mean being a perfect Barbie doll, it means the challenges and flaws which ultimately bring us to deserved success. Womanhood is extremely complex, and “Barbie” perfectly explains that nuance, making it an obvious winner for 2023’s best film.

The success of “Barbie” in the box office is unlike any movie witnessed in recent years. The film earned more than $1.38 billion worldwide, making it not only the top-grossing movie of 2023 but also the highest-grossing film in Warner Brothers’ 100 year history. This means that this iconic doll has even managed to beat out the highest grossing “Harry Potter” film. This movie is also an attest to female achievement in the film industry, as “Barbie” is also the highest grossing film ever from a female filmmaker at domestic box offices. It is no wonder that the film was so successful, as its relevant themes attract a wide variety of viewers. Audiences of all ages across the world could be observed dressing up in pink to attend the theater, posting pictures with Barbie standees and cardboard cutouts, and belting their heart out to the song ‘I’m Just Ken.’ The “Barbie” film was certainly unlike any other, evident in not only its monetary achievements but also its ability to amass such a broad audience. It is highly unlikely that any upcoming film will be anywhere near as influential as “Barbie.” 

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While other films in 2023 were also outstanding, such as “The Super Mario Brothers Movie,” “Oppenheimer,” and “The Little Mermaid,” none of them are even a close comparison to the phenomenon that is “Barbie.” No other film managed to tackle such prevalent real-world issues while maintaining a humorous and spirited tone, making “Barbie” stand out against the rest. “Barbie” sold the most tickets than any other movie of 2023, at a whopping 60,417,984, and brought in the most money by a long shot. But the true difference between “Barbie” and its competitors is the film’s ability to inspire its audience and leave a lasting, meaningful impact. The themes of identity and sexism explored throughout the movie teach the audience the importance of loving yourself and treating every individual with respect. These lessons can shape the lives of young viewers, and change perspectives of older audiences, making it easily the most exceptional film of 2023. 

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About the Contributors
Harper Rzepczynski '25, Journalism II
Eliza Beresh '25, Journalism II

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