On July 21st, the movie “Barbie” was released, and crossed the $1 billion mark at the box office just within three weeks, and sales of Barbie dolls have risen by 56% since the movie dropped. Crazy, right? People can’t stop talking about it, and the memes? They’re everywhere. Now, let’s break down the words and phrases you’ll need to catch the flick in English. No spoilers, promise!

Why Should You Watch “Barbie”?

“Barbie” isn’t just some feel-good flick to kill time. It’s a fantastic way to soak up some culture and, if you’re learning English, pick up some fresh phrases and tune up your listening skills. Oh, and that slick marketing and all those memes?  Plus, the cool marketing campaign and meme humor have made everyone a part of this project.

Before you dive into the movie in its original glory, let’s quickly break down the story.

Picture this: a world where Barbie rules. It’s like this parallel universe, Barbie Land. Different dolls living it up, with non-stop parties, cool careers, the works.

It is the best day ever. So was yesterday and so is tomorrow and every day from now until forever. 

But Ken and his crew? Well, they’re just kinda hanging out. Beach vibes, showing off their muscles, all hoping Barbie will notice them.

And yeah, you guessed it, that line is pure meme material.

One day, Stereotypical Barbie starts thinking about death. death. These existential thoughts set off a chain of events that eventually lead her to venture into the real world.

By the way, even though “ever” usually shows past actions, and is used with Present Perfect, you can also use it for things happening now. So, when you ask “Do you ever..?” it’s about things you do a lot, like habits.

Why is everyone talking about “Barbie”?

The movie’s marketing campaign was so big that they reached all around the world. A person who knows about brands, Moshe Isaacian, wrote on Twitter:

The first promos that broke the internet were interactive movie posters. Anyone could feel a part of the doll universe by adding their photo to the original poster template.

Mattel, the manufacturer of Barbie dolls, organized a huge number of collaborations. Xbox released limited pink consoles with a dollhouse-shaped stand for Barbie, ALDO produced pink shoes in classic doll packaging, Forever 21 created a clothing collection, cosmetics brand NYX launched a makeup line, and there were thematic Barbie Crocs and rollerskates, just like Barbie and Ken from Impala. Now, it’s easier to list the brands that haven’t collaborated during the movie promotion.

The “Barbie Malibu Dreamhouse,” which people could stay in through Airbnb in 2019 for Barbie’s 60th birthday, is open again. The people who own it changed the inside a lot and now Ken also lives there.

From the beginning, the actors and the people who make the movie made sure it felt like the movie. Even the helpers on set wore pink clothes. When it was time to show the movie in different places, special clothes were made for Margot Robbie that looked just like Barbie.

When the movie came out, fans made a website called BaiRBIE.me. It uses computers to make pictures of Barbie and Ken using pictures of real people.

The main highlight of the marketing campaign was the coincidental-noncoincidental overlap with the release day of Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer.” Internet users began theorizing which movie to watch first: either take a bitter sip of “Oppenheimer” and then soothe your nerves with the bright and innocent “Barbie,” or warm up with “Barbie” and then plunge into the depths of “Oppenheimer” induced depression.

Useful vocabulary and grammar from the movie “Barbie”

With the movie “Barbie” you will add to the baggage of everyday conversational phrases, as well as specialized vocabulary related to fashion, career, relationships and many others. And all this in a fun and exciting way.

The vision of Barbiland by Greta Gerwig, the director of the film, is filled with so many carefully thought-out details that it is difficult to fully appreciate everything at first glance. Therefore, before watching the movie, go through the Dreamhouse and study the vocabulary associated with the house: living room, kitchen, bedroom, slide, pool, shower, wardrobe, toothbrush, toothpaste, artificial. 

Well, let’s move to some handy phrases (and grammar) from the movie.

To invent — to create or design

Here you can see an exаmple of Present Perfect with a marker since. Use this tense to talk about an action or situation that started in the past and continues in the present, define a period of time before now by considering its duration, with for + a period of time, or by considering its starting point, with since + a point in time.

To solve problems — to find a solution or an answer to problems.

Here you can see an example of Passive Voice, which is used to show interest in the person or object that experiences an action rather than the person or object that performs the action. To make the passive put the verb ‘to be’ into whatever tense you need and then add the past participle.

Severely — very seriously

To be injured — to be hurt

To beach off is a variation of the abusive slang to bitch (piss) off.

If you look at the grammar (If + Past Simple, would + infinitive), you’ll see an example of Second Conditional. That is about an unreal situation in the present or future. 

Flat — level but having little or no height

Flat feet — feet that are level across the bottom instead of curved

Heels — women’s shoes with tall, thin heels.

To be shaped — having a defined external form or outline.

And Passive Voice and Second Conditional again. 

Stuff — thing, item, object. If you don’t know what to call something, you can use “stuff.” 

I’m enough — This phrase means that a person is whole and worthy of being who they are, without the need for self-validation or seeking approval from others.

A driving license (driver’s license) — a document permitting a person to drive a motor vehicle 

Casa translates from Spanish to “house.” 

Mojo — magical charms or amulet, but mostly used metaphorically: power, charisma; sex appeal. 

Dojo — a place where karate, judo, and other martial arts are practiced

To stand/stay/sit still — not to move

To look back — to glance behind, reflect on the past, reminisce about the past

And a few phrases from a badass speech by one of the characters (not gonna spill who, ’cause no spoilers here).

To be literally impossible — to be really, really hard to occur, exist

To have to always be extraordinary — to always have to be super special 

Thin — having little fat on the body.

Crass — not nice or kind

Mean — unkind or unpleasant

To squash other people’s ideas — not let others share their ideas

All the damn time — all the time ever

To look out for other people — to take care of them

To point out something — to make a person notice someone or something

To be accused of complaining — to say that someone has done something morally wrong, illegal, or unkind

To tempt somebody — to make someone want to do something not good

To threaten — to tell someone that you will kill or hurt them or cause problems if they do not do what you want

To stand out — to be very noticeable

Grateful — showing or expressing thanks, especially to another person

To acknowledge — to accept, admit

To show off — покрасоваться

Contradictory — very different 

Talking about the movie in English

Just sharing thoughts like those critics and bloggers do.

And here are some rad phrases to throw out when talking about it: 

Unforgettable delight? Totally. 

Completely captivated, I’m telling you. 

It deserves nothing less that 10 out of 10 rating

Stunning visuals

Visuals that’ll blow your mind. 

So darn breathtaking. 

Attention to detail

Every little detail is just, wow. 

Set design? Off the charts. 

Remarkable visual effects

Even this film critic dude from BBC, Nicholas Barber, totally gets it:

Genuinely funny  

Warm-hearted live-action comedy  



To be nominated for awards  

Watching movies in their original language combines entertainment with language learning. “Barbie” is an exciting and fun-filled story, full of adventure and positivity. It’s perfect for audiences of all English levels and ages, especially those who grew up with the Barbie doll.