It’s 6:00 pm. In two hours, I will be seeing the Barbie movie with a daughter and granddaughter. At my age I am an outlier, the litmus, but they wanted me to go with them saying it was a must-see – an event.

I have two daughters, four grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. Both of my daughters and my granddaughter are accomplished women. As children, all had these iconic dolls and other accoutrement, like the Barbie kitchen, growing up—but I don’t remember much about these toys. Our family includes four generations. My guess is each generation will be impacted in a different way by this movie.

10:20 pm.

As we leave the theater, I hear a woman walking behind me say to her companion, “I wonder what that was about.” That pretty much summed up the experience for me. It also reinforced my belief that what a person takes away from this movie depends on what that person brings to the experience. I’m kind of stuck with the images from Leave it to Beaver or The Dick Van Dyke Show. For me Barbie is a cultural leap that our society has made and it kind of leaves me behind. In the sixty-four years since Barbie wore the iconic black-and-white, one-piece bathing suit the world has changed more than I have.

The movie begins with a perfect, pampered, young blond who is an airhead luxuriating in a world dominated by males who are portrayed as nitwits. As the plot unfolds, Barbie and her pals strive to be taken seriously. To do this they are shown in a winner-take-all gender battle that is a zero-sum game. Ken, Barbie’s male counterpart, and his like are introduced as, and remain, lightweights whether they’re running the show or being bossed by the girls. The men in the show continue to get short shrift as the pendulum swings from a short-lived male victory back to a vision of the idealized Barbie. The ending takes place in the real world with a hint that the competition may be resolved but by this time, who cares? It may be inconsequential, but that’s for you to decide.

The reason to see Barbie? Being able to say, “I saw it”—nothing more.