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Pavement react to surprise reference during Ken’s ‘mansplaining’ scene in Barbie

Fans of the band were delighted at the seemingly random reference from one of the Kens

Annabel Nugent
Monday 24 July 2023 11:31 BST
Margot Robbie says it took just one question to get John Cena in the Barbie movie

The Barbie soundtrack is jam-packed with tracks from artists such as Lizzo, Charli XCX, Nicki Minaj, and Dua Lipa – but there is one band reference that has surprised a number of fans.

Greta Gerwig’s film, which stars Margot Robbie as the titular Mattel doll, has garnered critical acclaim and broken box office records since its recent release on Friday (21 July)

Barbie has managed to live up to the hype that its worldwide marketing campaign drummed up, winning over audiences with its bubblegum pink aesthetic and clever script.

Follow along with our live blog for all updates related to Barbie-Oppenheimer mania.

One element of the film that viewers did not expect, however, was a reference to Pavement, the California indie rock band best known for hit tracks such as 1991’s “Debris Slide” and 2002’s “Here”.

The joke is made during a montage in which the Kens of the film (led by Ryan Gosling) “mansplain” to the Barbies, with one referencing The Godfather and another speaking about lead singer Stephen Malkmus’s importance and how the musician was influenced by the Velvet Underground’s Lou Reed.

“Mansplain” is a term used to describe when men explain concepts to women in a condescending manner.

The name-drop surprised viewers with many sharing their appreciation for the indie rock moment on  social media.

The mention caught the band off guard also, with the group acknowledging the joke on Instagram.

“We are aware of the Barbie Movie rumours and are awaiting guidance from legal but as a rule we are pro-Greta,” they joked.

The band shared a photo of Malmus in the Mattel Barbie logo, writing: “Not a sponsored post but CAN BE @barbiethemovie just DM us for Venmo.”

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Film Review - Barbie

Venmo is an American mobile payment service aimed at friends and family who wish to split bills and send money easily to one another for dinner, movie tickets, and so on.

With Barbie, Gerwig has broken the domestic box office record for a female director.

Surpassing the $103.3m domestic opening of Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman and the $153m weekend opening of 2019’s Captain Marvel, the film is on track to make $155m on its opening weekend in North America.

The ratings for Oppenheimer, however, have blown past Barbie with Christopher Nolan’s epic achieving a near-perfect score on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.

You can read The Independent’s five-star review of Barbie here, and four-star review of Oppenheimer here.

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