Greta Gerwig Explains Why She Ended ‘Barbie’ With That Line

The co-writer and director explains the movie’s hilarious and heartfelt ending

Margot Robbie in "Barbie" (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Barbie” is here. And it is a delight.

Co-writer and director Greta Gerwig’s take on the classic doll broke box office records and shattered audience expectations, giving us something much deeper (and considerably weirder) than we were expecting. Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling and the entire cast of “Barbie” really gave it their all; and they have been rewarded for their efforts. And now Gerwig (who wrote the movie with her life/creative partner Noah Baumbach) is talking about the movie’s very good ending, specifically the surprising line that concludes the film.

Major spoilers for “Barbie” follow, obviously. If you haven’t seen the movie yet, get your brightest pink sweater, head to the theater, and then read this after.

Gerwig spoke to USA Today about the ending of “Barbie,” which has Barbie (Robbie), now going by the name Barbara Handler (her last name is a nod to Barbie’s controversial creator Ruth Handler, played in the movie by Rhea Perlman), fully committed to living in the real world. She is in a car with Gloria (America Ferrera) and her daughter (Ariana Greenblatt), along with Gloria’s hapless husband. They’re dropping her off outside of a building and giving her encouragement. It’s unclear what the building is and what she’s doing there – is it a job interview? Is she going to enact violent retribution on the Mattel corporation?

Once she enters the building, she walks up to the receptionist with a big smile on her face and says, “I’m here to see my gynecologist.” It’s the movie’s final line, it gets a big laugh, and it’s a knowing callback to earlier in the movie, when she’s being ogled by some construction workers and she informs them that she doesn’t have a vagina. Now, fully enmeshed in the real world, she does.

“With this film, it was important for me that everything operated on at least two levels,” Gerwig told USA Today. “I knew I wanted to end on a mic drop kind of joke, but I also find it very emotional. When I was a teenage girl, I remember growing up and being embarrassed about my body, and just feeling ashamed in a way that I couldn’t even describe. It felt like everything had to be hidden.”

Gerwig continued: “And then to see Margot as Barbie, with this big old smile on her face, saying what she says at the end with such happiness and joy. I was like, if I can give girls that feeling of, ‘Barbie does it, too’ – that’s both funny and emotional. There are so many things like that throughout the movie. It was always about looking for the levity and the heart.”

“Barbie” is in theaters now.