- Barbie became the highest-grossing film of the year despite Noah Baumbach’s initial skepticism.
- The movie’s unconventional approach to mortality and life’s messiness contributed to its success.
- Directed by a woman, it marks an important cultural change in the film industry.
Noah Baumbach, Greta Gerwig’s partner and writer of the Barbie movie, originally considered the film a “terrible idea” before it went on to become the highest-grossing film of the year. The movie, based on Mattel’s iconic doll, faced skepticism due to questions about its plot and purpose. Fans were unsure if it would focus on Barbie’s origin, be a traditional, animated adventure, or provide a philosophical look at Barbie’s role in Western culture. Eventually, the film combined all of these elements, becoming a cultural phenomenon.
Although Gerwig believed in the project, Baumbach was not enthusiastic about the risk involved, often suggesting getting out of it. However, after reading a draft of the script that centered around Barbie waking up in her Dreamhouse and encountering mortality, he understood the film’s potential. The movie tackled themes of mortality and embracing life’s messy aspects, resulting in Baumbach’s shift in perspective.
Barbie did more than achieve impressive box office results; it also became one of the most successful films directed by a woman. This achievement marks a significant cultural change within the film industry, which has evolved over recent years. Gerwig discussed her goal of making the film work to pave the way for future generations of women filmmakers and the challenges of being a “lady director.”
Currently, Barbie ranks 14th among the highest-grossing films in history, close to Frozen 2 and Top Gun: Maverick but still far behind Furious 7 and The Avengers, making the chances of entering the top 10 unlikely.