You'd have to have been living under a rock for the last few months to not have been caught up in the Barbenheimer craze. Yes folks, this weekend two blockbuster movies released on the same day, prompting swathes of users to fuse the two into one outing.
That pairing is an odd choice, though. The two films – Barbie and Oppenheimer – are pretty much as dissimilar as you can get. Barbie, as you might expect, is all about the beloved kids toy, with a smattering of tongue-in-cheek edge for good measure. Oppenheimer, by stark contract, follows the story of scientist Robert Oppenheimer, a key part of the Manhattan Project.
Prevailing wisdom online suggests that there is a correct way to watch these two movies. Many suggest beginning with Oppenheimer in the morning, taking a break to process... that, and then returning for Barbie in the evening.
And that's totally wrong.
See, yesterday I took the plunge and saw them both. But I opted to view them the other way around, in what I'm dubbing the 'reverse Barbenheimer'. And while there was no masterplan in that – the timings just suited me better that way – I firmly believe it's the best way to watch these two blockbusters.
The only way I can contextualise it is with a drinking analogy. Barbie is like those fruity cocktails you get at a bottomless brunch. It's light and fluffy, with just enough wit and cheekiness to keep an important storyline upbeat.
Oppenheimer is every bit as dark as you'd expect. But it's also brilliantly put together, with a fantastic flow that makes the three hour runtime flash past. Think of it like the after-dinner aperitif – complex and, at times, hard to swallow, but worth it.
To me, it's the only way that makes sense. I can't imagine the severity of the Oppenheimer script would carry the same weight if you came out ready for the bubblegum goodness of Barbie.
So, if you're planning to double bill the two, make sure you get it the right way round. And of course, if you're not planning to get in on the craze at all, that's fine too. Jump onto your favourite streaming service and enjoy some of the top movies on there instead. Your call.