To say we’re ready for Greta Gerwig’s Barbie is an understatement. Margot Robbie looks gorgeous as the film’s protagonist, and Gerwig’s Lady Bird and Little Women were Oscar-nominated masterpieces. But on Wednesday, Warner Brothers released the first look at Ryan Gosling as Ken. And it’s giving full camp, full cringe. We’re not sure how Mattel is going to feel about this.
With his platinum locks, light-wash denim vest, and Calvin Klein-inspired underwear peeking over his low-rise jeans, we’re already lining up therapy appointments for the nightmares this is sure to give us.
La La Land homeboy looks like one of those creepy, older West Hollywood men who still think they’re in their 20s. The type to pretend to know the lyrics to Megan Thee Stallion to hit on people half their age. (Remember that Steve Buscemi meme? “How do you do, fellow kids?” It’s giving that.)
Maybe it’s his eyebrow-raised smirk. Or his over-tanned abs. Or the annoying, “Ken” labeled boxers. But honestly, it’s probably the blonde hair: it’s just that bad.
Given the genius that is Gerwig, perhaps that’s the point. Maybe it’s supposed to give cringe, ironically. Maybe it will be a movie that pokes fun at the superficial, plastic silliness of it all.
Robbie previously told British Vogue that the film won’t be what people expect: “People generally hear Barbie and think, ‘I know what that movie is going to be,’ and then they hear that Greta Gerwig is writing and directing it, and they’re like, ‘Oh, well, maybe I don’t… ‘ ” So we have some hope.
The upcoming film is stacked with a star-studded cast, featuring the likes of Will Ferrell, Kate McKinnon, Barbie Ferrera, Simu Liu, Issa Rae, and Michael Cera. The film hits theaters on July 23, 2023.