Ryan Gosling as Ken looking in Barbie

The New ‘Barbie’ Trailer Gave Me Exactly What I Wanted From Ken

Barbie’s world is about just that … Barbie. And while she has her friends and her boyfriend, we tend to see Ken as more of her sidekick than anything else, and that’s just what Barbie’s relationship with Ken should be. After all, she did famously dump him—on Valentine’s day, nonetheless—but what is so great about Greta Gerwig’s Barbie is that it really is honoring that dynamic in a hilarious way.

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The screenplay, which was written by Gerwig and Noah Baumbach, brings to life Barbie’s world, before she is transported into the “real world,” and what we see of Barbie’s life in Barbieland is a beautifully pink place where all the men are there to just rollerblade and hang out on the beach while the women are in charge. Barbie (Issa Rae) is president, there’s a Nobel Prize-winning Barbie in Emma Mackey’s portrayal, and all the Kens are just … well, Ken.

But there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, that’s always sort of been the point. Often, the women are seen as the “ditzy” sidekick who only want to make themselves look pretty, but Ken has always just been just short of there and not really the star of the show, and I like that even when Ken could be sitting right next to Barbie in the car, he’s in the backseat and she’s rolling her eyes at him and his rollerblades. It is, frankly, exactly what I want from the sea of Kens that are featured in this movie because this is Barbie’s world, not his.

And their himboism did lead to one of the funniest moments in the whole trailer and a beach fight I will be thinking about for quite some time, I fear.

A beach of himbos

Simu Liu and Ryan Gosling as Kens squaring off in Barbie
(Warner Bros.)

When the character posters for the movie came out and all of the Kens just said “And this is Ken” or some variation of it, I was so happy, because it really is about Barbie—not her boyfriend. And for the most part, Ken has always played second fiddle to Barbie and what she is working on. So, the fact that all the Kens seem to be … well, her sweet air-headed boyfriend? That’s MY Ken!

While we don’t know the inner workings of their dynamic (expect that Ryan Gosling’s Ken does not seem to like Simu Liu’s Ken), we get to see all of the Kens preparing to beach each other off at the end of the trailer, and honestly, that’s the kind of humor I’m here for because my sweet himbos are just proudly yelling about how they can beach two off at once, and that’s just peak comedy.

It’ll be interesting to see how the movie explores the Kens and elevates them from just are sweet dense boys, but for now, we will just be thinking of Gosling with his rollerblades that he can’t go anywhere without and the fact that he’d like to beach off Simu Liu and Kingsley Ben-Adir. Honestly? That’s a win-win for us all.

(featured image: Warner Bros.)


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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.