Yes, I’m talking about the remake of Ghostbusters, which so happens to star Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon.
So what makes this movie so controversial? It can’t be that it’s a remake because we know this isn’t Hollywood’s first remake rodeo. Well, to answer that question, why don’t we step into the world of YouTube comments, shall we? The following are actual comments from just the first page of the official Ghostbusters trailer:
If you pay to see this, you are worse than Hitler.
This is the first trailer that not one word came from a man. Da hell.
At what point will feminists realize that it isn’t the gender of a character that makes an intriguing character?
Back to the Future remake: Marty McFly is now Marlene McFly, a black, gay, disabled but ultimately lovable heroine who goes back in time with Doc Brown (now a woman) to stop Hitler.
And that was just the beginning. A majority of the film’s criticism, masked as concern over the remake of the beloved 1984 film, focused on the fact that this remake had an all-female lead cast who now don the proton backpacks. If you want to see fanboys (and some fangirls) cry, that is the place to do it.
Side note: for the person who made the Back to the Future comment, I would pay for me and my entire family to see that film because you know damn well that Marlene McFly would succeed in killing Hitler.
Of course, these fanguards failed to remember that the surviving cast of the original film – Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd, Ernie Hudson, and Annie Potts – all gave their seal of approval and will be making cameos in the reboot.
This past week, the official reviews came out and while many critics found flaws like any summer movie, many critics, especially female critics, found the film to be comical because that’s the point of this film. One critic actually stated that the reboot was, “Surprisingly funny.”
Surprisingly? Three-fourths of the cast are either current or past Saturday Night Live cast members, and the lead actress has become one of the most talented comediennes in film. To be shocked that this was funny is like seeing an action film and coming out dumbstruck that there was some type of fight or explosion.
But the shock over the film’s humor coupled with the fact that many people hate (I know that is a strong word, but go ahead and look at those comments again. Those are not what you would find on the inside of a Hallmark card.) the idea of women, not men, fighting the floating dead are why we need to see this movie.
Because, and I know this is a stretch, films like Ghostbusters help break that glass ceiling.
Of all movies to top the box office this year, only one film had a female lead. That film? Finding Dory. That’s right: a film about a fish with a memory problem. In their article about female representation in film (which you can read here), Variety found that only 29% of major roles went to women in 2015, and that number has not really moved. And although I wish I could go back and stay in my 20’s, seeing that in percentage form about female representation is something I actually want to see rise.
So, will Ghostbusters be the solution? Perhaps or perhaps not but at least it’s a try.
Now you may be saying to yourself, “Well, shouldn’t it be based on talent and not gender? Isn’t that why we should see this movie?” I agree with you. It should be based on talent and the film should be simply labeled a reboot. However, the bone of contention for many of these fans and critics is not that it’s a reboot but that its’s an all-female reboot.
Was the same vitriol shown to George Clooney’s remake of Ocean’s 11? It’s now considered a classic, spawned two sequels, and worthy of TNT weekend broadcasts.
Now Google “Sandra Bullock and Ocean’s 11.” Click on any article and read the comments. Chances are you’ll read complaints that will make either veiled or blatant references to gender. Because having a vagina means you are unable to mastermind a multimillion dollar heist or fight off CGI ghosts. Damn you, Eve.
And although it wasn’t planned, the timing of Ghostbusters’ release couldn’t be any better. Earlier this week, England said goodbye to Prime Minister David Cameron and hello to the next Iron Lady, Theresa May, who is now only the second woman to take that role.
*Cough* Take note, America. *Cough*
And what did many news outlets obsess over when the news broke? Theresa May’s love of shoes. Not her experience in parliament or her journey to Number 10 Downing Street in London. They reported on her love of colorful pumps.
Excuse me one moment.
And then America’s favorite Friend (see what I did there), Jennifer Aniston, wrote an opinion piece for The Huffington Post about the media’s obsession with beauty and what defines a woman:
The sheer amount of resources being spent right now by press trying to simply uncover whether or not I am pregnant (for the bajillionth time… but who’s counting) points to the perpetuation of this notion that women are somehow incomplete, unsuccessful, or unhappy if they’re not married with children.
Although Ghostbusters is in no way directly connected to Prime Minister May or Jennifer Aniston’s article, they all serve as a reminder that while there may be those who expect and demand that women be relegated to the foreground, we’re still putting on those colorful high heels to lead a nation, strapping on the proton packs and making more cracks in that glass ceiling.
So, I’ll be putting my money where my mouth and my post are and will be seeing Ghostbusters this weekend, because I ain’t afraid of no ghosts. What about you?