July 19, 2022
WRITTEN BY:
Melinda Head

Barbie and Ken: Still Hot After 62 Years of Brilliant Marketing

Get ready for the unexpected this Thursday

Barbie hits North American theaters on Thursday, July 21st.

Barbie (1959) and Ken (1961) both debuted in swimsuits, making the summer an ideal time for the film to be released. Venice Beach, CA, has been a part of the backdrop.

Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling play the happy couple, Barbara Millicent Roberts and Kenneth Sean Carson, in a film that has been described as a romantic comedy. This is the first live-action movie adaptation in the Barbie multimedia franchise, produced by Mattel, Warner Bros. and LuckyChap Entertainment (Robbie’s production company).

“The producing strategy of LuckyChap Entertainment is: “If it’s not a ‘Fuck, yes’, it’s a ‘No’.”

Directed by Greta Gerwig who also co-wrote the screenplay with her partner, Noah, Ms. Gerwig made impressive directorial debuts with Lady Bird (2017) and Little Women (2019) – both of which earned Academy Award nominations. At only 38 years old, she is a hot property.

In2018, Greta Gerwig became the 5th ever female director to be nominated for an Oscar. Italy’s Lina Wertmuller was the first (1975)

“People generally hear ‘Barbie’ and think, ‘I know what that movie is going to be,’” Robbie told Vogue last year, “and then they hear that Greta Gerwig is writing and directing it, and they’re like, ‘Oh, well, maybe I don’t...’”

Margot Robbie helms from the Gold Coast, south of Brisbane, Australia, and began her professional acting career in the TV series ‘Neighbours’ (2008-2011). I’m sure this was a welcome relief after working in a bar, cleaning houses and taking a job at Subway! After her role as Naomi Lapaglia (the sensual second wife of broker Jordan Belfort, played by Leonardo DiCaprio) in ‘The Wolf of  Wall Street’ (2013), she never looked back. Among many accolades, she also starred in and produced the biopic ‘I, Tonya’, about the Tonya Harding figure skating scandal, as well as the Netflix mini-series ‘Maid’ (2021), which I highly recommend.

Margot as Donna Freedman in  ‘Neighbours’

Margot as Tonya Harding in ‘I, Tonya’

Margot Playing Naomi Lapaglia in ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’

Margot as Barbie

Ryan Gosling helms from London, Ontario (not England). He says his nice guy persona is simply a manifestation of his Canadianness. He started his acting career as a Mickey Mouse Club mouseketeer – as did Christina Aquilera, Brittney Spears and Justin Timberlake! A versatile actor known to play quirky indie roles, fast forward to ‘Half Nelson’ (2006), the film that earned him his first Oscar nomination for Best Actor and was arguably the turning point of his career. Personally, I think his best role was in ‘The Big Short’ (2015) as Jared Vennett, based on Greg Lippman. Lippman was the executive in charge of global asset-backed security trading at Deutsche Bank; he bet against sub-prime mortgages before the market collapsed and made billions. In ‘The Big Short’ Margot Robbie has a cameo appearance in a bubble bath scene during which she explains what it means to short sub-prime mortgages.

Ryan Gosling started his career as a cast member of the Mickey Mouse Club

Reactions are mixed about this 41 year old playing Barbie’s boyfriend. But, then and again, Margot Robbie is not a spring chicken either – she is 32. Barbie was originally described as a 19 year old and Ken, her neighbor, was supposedly 2 years younger, making him only 17. He just squeaked in to the age of consent in California, which is 16.

Ken was named after the Barbie creator’s (Ruth Handler) son, Kenneth Handler. He is described as confident, intuitive, considerate, loyal, supportive, compassionate and a dreamer. Sounds like Ryan Gosling. When we see Mr. Gosling in Barbie, the rumor mill says that he will be going through a rough patch, with no money, no job, no house and no car. This should be interesting.

Will Barbie contenders Amy Schumer and Anne Hathaway regret not playing the role of Barbie? We are told to leave all expectations at the door.

One thing for sure, outfits by Oscar-winning British costume designer Jacqueline Durran may send us lusting for back-to-the-past attire. Oh, and by the way, gentlemen, if you decide to bleach your hair like Ken’s, please seek professional assistance!

Now take what you’ve learned and play today’s Barbie Quiz of the Day:

1. Download Quizefy app.

2. 250 free gems will be instantly deposited in your name

3. Start playing immediately for free

4. Have fun and Strut Your Smart!

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About the Author

A serial entrepreneur, Melinda is a sociologist and statistician who believes there is no currency with greater value than knowledge

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