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Aug 14, 2023

“Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” Were Only the Beginning

Bimbos and eggheads have a few more shots at immortality

By Ed Goldman

The unlikely twin successes of “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer” at the box office this summer have prompted some people to think they were the same movie. This has inspired some non-union screenwriters—eager to exploit the trend while showing the studio bosses, to whom they’re sucking up, they’ll save money by not making separate films. Accordingly, they’ve suggested these hybrid titles,  pairing lifeless dolls with major thinkers:

RAGGEDY ANN AND EINSTEIN. Does E=MC Hammer? This hip-hop romp through the parallel worlds of physics and fabrics features pulsating rap tunes and exploding asteroids, not to mention a shockingly new interpretation of the Big Bang Theory. Shelly Duvall plays Ann, Robert Downey, Jr. is Einstein and Ryan Gosling cameos as the cuckolded Raggedy Andy.

Edgy Cartoon

Another blah-buster

CHATTY CATHY AND DESCARTES IN “I TALK THEREFORE I AM.” They meet in the Time-Warp Continuum, which is a nightclub in the fourth dimension. It’s love at first existential sight. Okay, no more spoilers. 

SOLOMON AND SHE-RA: CUT ME SOME BABY. The wise king of Israel teams with the Princess of Power in a debate against the Masters of the Universe during an interplanetary high school’s afternoon recess. At issue is whether all problems can be solved by merely threatening to maim an infant, as Solomon proved in at least one notable case. In pro-life states, a comma will be added to the title after “cut me some” and before “baby.” 

THE CABBAGE PATCH KIDS MEET SOCRATES. Bagels and hemlocks are on the menu as those crazy dolls are tasked with poisoning the great Greek philosopher. Filmed in Athens, Greece for authenticity and Athens, Georgia, for a tax-break.

AMERICAN GIRL AND ARISTOTLE. As I’m sure you recall from your beach reading this summer, Aristotle is the metaphysics guy who said if you go around being excellent, you can achieve something called eudaimonia—whereas, American Girl is famous for her line of “Truly Me” dolls. Coincidence? I think not!

RAINBOW BRITE AND RASPUTIN. Rainbow Brite, whose website tells us she “uses her magical belt to protect the colors of Rainbowland from the bumbling Murky & Lurk,” is paired with Rasputin, everyone’s favorite Russian Orthodox maniac. The dream team meets then sits around for 90 minutes trying to figure out which one is more clinically insane. Not recommended for sensitive children or sober adults.

POLLY POCKET AND CHARLES DARWIN. Polly, whose line of dolls was discontinued 11 years ago and Darwin, whose theory of evolution is disputed every time you people-watch at a shopping mall’s food court, become allies to restore their respective reputations. Darwin reassures her that only the infants of idiots would have swallowed one of her dolls and Polly takes Chuck to a Mensa meeting to show him people are still capable of evolving. 

Unfortunately, on the way there they pass a pickleball court to which three ambulances have been called. “Maybe next millennium, huh, Chuck? ” she asks. “Let’s stop somewhere for a cocktail,” says Darwin. “I know you don’t drink but I’m guessing that Polly wants a cracker.” 

Ed Goldman's column appears almost every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A former daily columnist for the Sacramento Business Journal, as well as monthly columnist for Sacramento Magazine and Comstock’s Business Magazine, he’s the author of five books, two plays and one musical (so far).