With all the hype surrounding Greta Gerwig BarbieWith the film hitting theaters on Friday (July 21), parents may be wondering if it’s a safe choice for family movie night.
Starring Margot Robbie as the popular Mattel doll, the film has been touted as a comedy-drama that follows Barbie’s real-world adventures after she was kicked out of Barbieland for having existential concerns.
And while it’s easy to assume it’s intended for children based on the source material, some parents may need more information on its PG-13 rating (equivalent to a 12A rating in the UK).
A PG-13 rating is generally given to titles that, according to the Motion Pictures Association (MPA), “contain material that may be unsuitable for children under the age of 13.”
Barbie received this predicate for “suggestive references and short language”.
But what does that mean? Without giving too much away, here are a few things that might help you decide if it’s right for your family.
*Warning, the following may contain spoilers*
In interviews ahead of the premiere, Gerwig revealed that the core themes are inherently ponderous. Even in the official trailer, Robbie’s titular Barbie asks her fellow Barbies, “Do you ever think about dying?”
Danny Brogan, editor-in-chief at Common Sense Media, an organization that reviews and rates content for children, spoke about his “adult content” in an interview with Gerwig. Yahoo!.
“I think Gerwig included all of this adult content, knowing full well that a large segment of the audience will be Millennials and members of Gen Z — people who grew up with Barbie in the ’80s, ’90s and 2000s — looking for.” That nostalgia, but also “to be entertained,” Brogan said. “They’re not the eight-year-olds that took Barbie everywhere.”
As for the ‘suggestive allusions’, many of the lines that might be considered as such are likely to be beyond the head of a particularly young audience.
Kate McKinnon’s “Weird Barbie,” for example, humorously says of a Ken character, “I’d love to see what a smooth blob he puts in those shorts.”
It also reportedly includes words like “b****”, “crap” and “motherf***er”, although the latter was apparently censored for its comedic appeal.
Robbie previously said a mind-blowing, risqué joke was actually cut from page one of the script.
Either way, critics rave Barbie. The Independent‘s Clarisse Loughrey called it a “nearly miraculous feat” in her five-star review.
Barbie hits theaters on Friday (July 21).