Barbie has been setting unrealistic body standards and gender roles for women since 1959. Sure, makers of the beloved American doll, Mattel, have tried to break its own mold and shake the stigma with more modern Barbie dolls – what with Computer Engineer Barbie, Spaghetti Chef Barbie (just threw that one in there ’cause, yeah, wow that’s a thing?), and President + Vice President Barbie…etc. Still, Barbie and her ethnic variations are always made beautiful and are always fashion forward. Not to say that there is anything so egregiously wrong with that…but it does send a bad message to young girls, instilling the idea that in order to be successful, you have to be beautiful and own the nicest clothes and materialistic things.
So, upon hearing that Barbie is now getting a live-action movie, one would think it’s going to take the beauty-parading position as made synonymous with the character, right? Perhaps a quasi-inspired version Legally Blonde ? Well, surprisingly, this contemporary spin on the property challenges the perfect people and perfect world set by Barbie and friends. *picks jaw up from floor*
According to THR comedian Amy Schumer (Trainwreck) will star in Sony Picture’s live-action adaptation of Mattel’s popular toy line. Schumer will also rewrite the script with her sister, Kim Caramele.
The film will “try to address those [themes] in a story that begins in a perfect land of Barbies where one woman slowly awakens to the fact that she doesn’t fit it. She is expelled from the idealistic land and journeys to the real world, where she discovers that being unique is an asset.”
No word yet if Schumer is playing Barbie or just a Barbie girl in a Barbie world (yes, that song pun was intended). Knowing Schumer’s penchant for raunchy and awkward comedy, she’ll likely play Barbie’s friend who, after forcing hyper-sexual absurdities at Ken at a party in Barbies dream house, realizes she doesn’t belong with the elites.
It would be more interesting to see Schumer play the actual Barbie and see her coming to terms with how superficial and artificial she and her world is. If Schumer’s character is just a person of mediocrity suddenly being alerted that she’s her world’s Lena Dunham and doesn’t fit in with the “fake bitches” and basically says “the hell with them” well, then, that would be un-empowering.
Regardless how anyone feels about Amy Schumer (people like her or hate her, there’s no in between), this is a far more interesting approach to Barbie than anyone would have expected. A promising pitch.