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I Enjoyed Barbie

I liked "Barbie." I thought it was a funny movie. Greta Gerwig did a great job directing it. The performances were excellent. Solid flick. I posted my review of it a few days ago, which was met with a lot of scorn and disdain. If people's criticism about this film was exclusive to me or how I felt about it, that would be one thing. But the general reception that many people are pushing (some of them have huge platforms) is that to like "Barbie" somehow goes against your kind. A movie that's primary geographical location is "Barbieland" has somehow opened the door for political discourse. Again, welcome to 2023. My enjoyment of this film shouldn't be controversial, but here we are.

Believe it or not, kids, there used to be a time when movies were just movies. We would sit in the theater and watch them. They were pieces of entertainment. And, of course, different movies served different functions, but before the last decade, movies were never meant to be things that opened the door for an excess amount of political discourse. And before I even go any further, I can already tell what the argument will be from the other side. The discussion will be that "Barbie," because of its message, opened the door for political discourse regarding capitalism and feminism, etc. And my response to that would "Did it really?" I think "Barbie" opened the door for political discussion, the same way that "Team America: World Police" opened the door to Iraq War discourse. It features snarky, political subtext, but it's satire. In comedy, you stretch and exaggerate things for the sake of humor. Despite my track record and everything I say in this blog, I guarantee you I will still have people claiming I'm "woke." First, we've lost the meaning of that word. We often take anything with some sort of messaging and put the "woke" label on it. I don't like woke shit. I'll be sincere; one of the reasons why I'm not that crazy about "Star Wars" right now is that every time I watch a "Star Wars" movie or show, I'm reminded of how completely corporate and clean everything feels. I don't need messages about diversity and empowerment in a fucking "Star Wars" movie. I want to see spaceships and lightsabers. And you're not a bad person for wanting those things. But "Star Wars" has always been meant to be escapist cinema. "Barbie" is its own thing. It's a film made by a director who had a vision. I don't have to agree with every point, but I respect it. 

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This is the problem with the politicization of everything. Most people don't go through life thinking about race, gender, or sexual orientation. Most people exist. They put food in their mouths, and then they poop, and they put on clothes one leg at a time and go on with their day. I'm very much aware that "Barbie" is a movie made mainly for women, and it features a very feminist message. I don't care. The fucking movie made me laugh. And, of course, film is subjective. If you found the movie uneven or unfunny, you're welcome to have that opinion, but I can't help but laugh at the people who view the feminist message in "Barbie" as some sort of slight against men and their brand. It's a movie based on a series of dolls void of genitals. The film even refers to that multiple times. If you're taking this message as a stab in the heart, I question how secure you are as a person. I get as annoyed by political messaging in movies as anyone, but I don't find movies made by women for women and about women to be political. There's also a contradictory element to this because the same people complaining about the message in "Barbie" claim that Hollywood is completely out of original ideas and never has anything to say. But then, when a movie comes along that takes risks and has something to say, it's woke bullshit, and everyone should ignore it.

In many ways, a film like "Barbie" was probably set up for this kind of controversy. Had the film been what many of us expected it would be, it would've been another corporate piece of Hollywood schlock made to cash in on the popularity of the dolls. But because an acclaimed director made it with something to say, it's become the year's most controversial movie. In the modern age, especially where 95% of films are just forgettable crap, I would much rather have a movie that takes risks than another processed piece of Hollywood meat. I won't act like I 100% agree with the way Greta Gerwig chose to tell the story. Even for a fantasy satire, the male bashing becomes a bit much. Again, though, that just doesn't bother me that much. The experience of watching the film was worth it. I laughed at the movie. Shouldn't that be enough?

Look, man, I'm not here to change opinions. If you don't like the film, you don't like the film. But if you're a man who believes that Greta Gerwig's "Barbie" will somehow contribute to the downfall of masculinity in modern society, I don't know what to tell you. I enjoyed the film, but it's not that important. We're making it into a much bigger deal by creating a controversy that shouldn't be there. Counterprogramming exists for a reason. Some movies are made for certain people. You don't have to love or support it, but to rip the people who find value in its messaging is kind of lame. OK, that's all I got.