The following post contains minor spoilers for Barbie.
One of the standout sequences in Greta Gerwig’s Barbie — one that is sure to go down in legend as one of the ultimate spoofs of ’90s culture — is when Ryan Gosling’s Ken, and a whole army of other Kens, serenade Margot Robbie’s Barbie (and the other Barbie) with a heartfelt rendition of Matchbox Twenty’s radio hit “Push.” It’s a hilarious sequence — and it does not exactly paint the song or the band in the most flattering light.
So what did Rob Thomas of Matchbox Twenty think of the sequence? Thomas told USA Today he was a little apprehensive when he first heard Mattel’s smash hit Barbie would be using a song he had such a big hand in writing. There are a couple of moving parts here. First of all, Matchbox Twenty has been a pretty big 90s music punching bag. Secondly, the song was written about a relationship Thomas had where he felt he had been emotionally manipulated. That being said, the movie ended up using the song to great effect, and the whole thing translates surprisingly well.Barbie_AN_220627_00241.dngWarner Bros.
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As Thomas put it to USA Today…
When I got the call for Barbie, they told me, ‘Ken’s by the fireside, he’s playing the song and it’s his favorite band.’ So I did this thinking I’d be the butt of the joke, and I was fine with that. I’m pretty thick-skinned. But Julie Greenwald (from Atlantic Records) came to the Hollywood Bowl a month or two ago. She had just seen the movie and was like, ‘You come out of it loving Ken and loving ‘Push.’” And I was like, ‘Aww. Alright, really good!’
Thomas also said that Gerwig “has been one of my crushes forever, to the point where I was on a plane one time and I called my wife, like, ‘Baby, Greta Gerwig just came on the plane, oh my god.’ So just the fact that it didn’t diminish my crush of Greta, that’s even better.”
Barbie is now playing in theaters everywhere. We fully expect the ironic karaoke bar renditions of “Push” to skyrocket in the months ahead.