The expectations for Ocean’s 8 were high, considering the ridiculously talented, amazingly diverse cast. Add in the Met Gala, some big jewels, and the previous Ocean’s movies. That’s a lot of pressure. So it's no surprise that the film opened with a solid 41.5 million dollars, topping the box office.
Here are a few reasons:
1. The undeniable chemistry between the actors propelled the film. Behind all the glam and wit, the story is about a group of women coming together, loving each other, and valuing each of their own skills. This played beyond the screen; in real life, the actresses have emphasized their bond with each other and the benefits of having a predominantly female cast. It’s an amazing feat that they pulled off here—an ensemble of eight very different women who all became friends and had seamless on-screen and off-screen chemistry.
2. Debbie and Lou’s relationship must not be missed. This movie is perfect for Pride Month, in a way. Social media had a collective meltdown over Debbie Ocean and Lou’s suggested relationship. Labeled by the movie as long-time friends (haha, sure), viewers felt that there was more. Cate Blanchett—who plays Lou, Debbie’s old partner and the owner of a rock-and-roll style club—pointed out Lou’s masculine energy as a possible reason for why viewers might interpret things that way. She has a tough energy about her, rides a motorcycle, and wears suits for most of the movie. There's clear chemistry between Blanchett’s Lou and Sandra Bullock’s Debbie, and several references to their past history in the movie. Although it has been confirmed that nothing was meant to be suggestive of any romantic history, there is still a chance that fans might get want they want in a possible Ocean’s 9.
3. Ocean’s 8 is a heist movie. A bunch of badass women sneak around jewels in the Met Gala. It’s clever, although critics like to point out how that wouldn’t work and how it’s not possible to hack into... no one cares. It’s a fun summer movie that is refreshing and exciting. You find yourself rooting for the characters all the way. The Met Gala is recreated stunningly, with a few celebrity cameos and a whole lot of fuss. Another huge bonus, there’s no violence. Ocean’s 8 was a fun, welcomed movie. No guns, no blood, no emotional trauma.4. Feast your eyes on the fashion. The costume designer, Sarah Edwards, did the most amazing job in creating distinct, highly characterized looks for each character. 9 Ball, played by Rihanna, wears baggy sweaters and jeans for most of the movie, transforming into the Rihanna we know in a flaming Zac Posen dress at the end. Daphne Kluger, played hilariously by Anne Hathaway, is a model Met Gala host with the heavy, $150 million Toussaint necklace on her elegant neck. Constance, Awkwafina’s first movie character, is a comic scene-stealer, wearing street style that reflects her character’s lifestyle and stunning in Jonathan Simkhai. Mindy Kaling and Cate Blanchett’s characters work in the kitchens and wear uniforms, but Kaling’s Amita still gets to step down the Met stairs in a gold Naeem Khan. Sarah Paulson’s Tammy screams MOM in her mom jeans, sweaters, and coats until she wears black velvet Prada for her job at the Met. Helena Bonham Carter, playing the uninspired, slightly eccentric fashion designer Rose Weil, wears the normal, slightly ridiculous Met Gala fare, a flowering Dolce and Gabbana. Debbie Ocean is extravagantly stylish and sleek in long coats and heels. Her Met dress, by Alberta Ferretti, alludes to her character with its gold starfishes and waves. The real fashion star of the whole movie is Cate Blanchett’s Lou. Every time Lou appeared in another well-fitted, chick-rocker, androgynous outfit, a pocket of LGBT+ Twitter freaked out. She's the only one who doesn’t step down the Met steps, but she still wears an amazing emerald Givenchy suit to meet Debbie outside of the museum. Honestly, we would pay money to see a movie of just Cate Blanchett in suits.
5. Ocean’s 8 is empowering for women and girls. I walked out of the theatre with a big smile on my face because they did it, they really did it. These women made a diverse, fun movie that viewers just really enjoyed. It was a powerful statement at the same time, because a group of women—of diverse women—made a vastly succesful movie. I felt empowered by what that meant for representation in the future. Ocean’s 8 felt like the first true Time’s Up-era movie. The focus was undoubtedly on the women of the film without the women being in traditional women roles or the viewers constantly being reminded that they were women in traditional men’s roles. This is what we want and what we’ve wanted for the longest time: an unapologetic, unhindered movie about women. Seeing it happen felt so right. It felt like a big step forward, without being about the step.
The story and the characters were also empowering. I mean, come on—they pulled off a heist in the classiest way.