The Lego Movie might be the best and the worst thing to happen to movies in forever; The best thing because The Lego Movie was awesome, as the song in the movie suggests. But let’s be honest, the odds of making a compelling story based on a non-narrative item or brand isn’t that great. The Lego Movie was lucky in having Phil Lord and Chris Miller in charge. Not everyone will be so lucky, and now we are gonna get a slew of movies based on things that have no story, and some of them will suck. In ten years, expect “Pizza: The Movie.”
Now Sony and Mattel are looking for some of that Lego money, and are readying Barbie as a big screen live action movie and (of course) possible franchise, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The film will be written by former Sex and the City writer Jenny Bicks. The president of production at Sony released a statement saying “We’ve always thought that the Barbie story had great potential, but a universe of possibilities opened up when Jenny, Walter, and Laurie brought us their unexpected, clever and truly funny concept. It captures everything that has made Barbie a classic for generation after generation while also standing on its own, establishing Barbie as a truly original screen character. We’re confident that Barbie will delight audiences, no matter where her adventures take her.”
The synopsis says the movie’s plot “teams Barbie with an overworked bureaucrat looking for an assistant. A contemporary buddy comedy ensues.” Wait – this is freakin’ Barbie, a cultural icon for both good and bad reasons. On the bad side, the doll’s proportions and appearance have been blamed for giving generations of young girls horrible body issues and the idea that only being skinny, white, and blonde is desirable. Forget magazines like Cosmo or Vogue; it all starts with Barbie at age four.* On the good side, however, Barbie taught girls that they can be into make-up and clothes and boys and still juggle being an astronaut, a vet, an Ambassador for world peace, and a paratrooper. Girl was a paleontologist once. She was even president! Why not use the fact that Barbie is clearly the world’s most accomplished human who just happens to really love hot pink as the basis for this movie? I don’t wanna see her be someone’s “assistant”. Seriously, I hope they rework this concept into something less generic. And I hope they find a part for that Ukrainian girl who made herself into Barbie. Heck, why not just cast her, she’s already done all the hard work.
*Barbie is still way better than those Bratz dolls. Yes, the Bratz dolls are multi-ethnic, but they have no waists, no nose (just nostrils), and giant collagen lips. While Barbie is telling young girls that they, too can be a doctor or lawyer, Bratz’ message to young girls seems to be, “you, too, can be a street walker.”