In the ‘Barbie’ Movie Trailer, the Kens are Not OK

In the 'Barbie' Movie Trailer the Kens are Not OK

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures
The first full trailer for Greta Gerwig’s mysterious next film reveals that the cast is more stacked than anyone realized.

Cinema will remember April 4, 2023 as Day One of Greta Gerwig’s Barbie. The film—starring Margot Robbie as one of many accomplished Barbies, and Ryan Gosling as one of many doltish Kens—does not come out until July 21. But this morning, Warner Brothers dropped dozens of endlessly meme-able character posters featuring the Barbies and the Kens, revealing a much more stacked cast than was previously known: It includes, like, half of the cast of Netflix’s Sex Education, Barbies like Dua Lipa to Issa Rae, and a bevy of dreamy Kens like Simu Liu and Kingsley Ben-Adir. The posters also shed light on some other characters as well Will Ferrell (seemingly back in his Elf bag) plays an unspecified suit and Michael Cera appears as Ken’s best friend Allan.

Unlike the teaser from three months back, which featured Helen Mirren riffing on 2001, the full trailer offers a real peek at Gerwig’s film, which she co-wrote with Noah Baumbach. The clip primarily features Robbie, living her life as Barbie in Barbie Land, where everything is as perfect, pink—including the sand—and beautiful as you’d expect. Gosling’s Ken is her boyfriend. The water is bluer than Alexandra Daraddario’s eyes. Robbie Barbie and Gosling Ken seemingly depart Barbie Land for the real world, but the trailer, thankfully, does not spoil the entire movie by showing any of that.

“To live in Barbie Land is to be a perfect being in a perfect place,” goes the logline, “Unless you have a full-on existential crisis. Or you’re a Ken.”  Barbie Land’s Men, it seems, Are Not OK. Which would put Barbie in some fine recent company: Recent Men Are Not OK shows and movies including HBO’s Perry Mason, which stars a tormented Matthew Rhys, and Ben Affleck’s Air, which features movie stars in ‘80s wigs getting emotional about a basketball shoe. Even Gerwig’s Little Women qualifies as a Men Are Not OK movie thanks to Timothee Chalamet’s brilliant performance as Laurie, especially his proposal fail scene (“I quit billiards, it’s fine!). Gosling’s Ken, meanwhile, asks Robbie’s Barbie if she wants to have a sleepover since they’re “girlfriend-boyfriend” and she asks what they would do during the sleepover, he says, “I’m actually not sure.”

Simu Liu, Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling and Kingsley Ben-Adir in Barbie.Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Another Man Who Is Not OK? Manhattan Project mastermind J. Robert Oppenheimer, the subject of Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, which will go head to head with Barbie in theaters on July 21. Choose your fighter.

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