I already know that I’m going to get a lot of flak for taking this stance, and that’s a shame. But, please, just hear me out.
I was skeptical when a Ghostbusters reboot was first announced. I wasn’t angry, though, like so many people on the internet were. Why would I be? Yes, it’s frustrating that new ideas seem to be less and less in Hollywood. But, the remake of the movie does not change how I feel about the original. So, I was frustrated. That frustration began to waver, however, when news started to come forward about who was attached to the project. Paul Feig was announced as director, and I was excited. I think that his ability to direct comedy is wonderful. I mean, have you seen Spy? That shit was hilarious. Did you enjoy Bridesmaids? My money is on yes since the people that didn’t enjoy that film are few and far between. I mean, he even directed some of the best episodes of The Office.
So, I was pretty thrilled about him being announced as the director.
Then followed the announcements of the cast: Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones. All of these women are funny all on their own. I was so excited to see what happened when they were put all together and could play, comically, off of one another. The addition of the original Ghostbuster cast was a huge bonus. As was the addition of Chris Hemsworth as the receptionist (and I didn’t realize how much of a bonus it was until I saw the film).
So, by the time the film was released in theaters, I was excited for it. Given, I did not have crazy high expectations. I don’t really know if I had any expectations, to be honest. I just knew that I was excited. I was excited to see a bunch of comedians I really like up on the big screen busting some ghosts.
It wasn’t until the scene towards the end of the film, when the women are fighting all the ghosts in New York City, that it hit me: this film is important.
It may not seem important to you. And, if you’re a man, you may not realize why it was so important (and I absolutely do not mean that in any insulting way, I promise). It’s just…growing up; I can’t recall watching a film where a bunch of women were the heroes. I can’t think of a film that I watched where the woman, who was the hero, was not sexualized in some way, whether it be through her costume or what have you.
(Okay. Maybe I can think of one: the one and only Ellie Satler from Jurassic Park, who, when met with sexism from Hammond, told him that they would discuss sexism in survival situations when she got back (from kicking a raptors ass, hell yeah!)And even maybe two, with Ripley from Alien). But, that’s kind of my point: out of all the movies that I watched growing up, I can only think of a handful of female characters within those films that were not sexualized or that were taken seriously. And, that is frustrating.
When I first saw the scene where Kate McKinnon’s character, Holtzmann, really starts kicking ass, when the Ghostbusters instrumental theme comes through, I realized that I had tears in my eyes. And, I didn’t realize until after the movie why. These women were not sexualized. They were dressed in jumpsuits. Plain, simple, NOT BODY HUGGING jumpsuits. And they were fighting, properly fighting. Not fighting in the way that women are so often depicted when fighting in film: hair pulling, scratching, or just plain weakly. They were actually fighting. And it was refreshing as hell to see.
All I could think of was what it would have been like to be seeing that as a young girl. To be seeing strong, funny women up on screen not concerned about looking good and not concerned about men. Their only concern was saving New York City, and dammit, they did. Seeing that as a young girl would have changed some perspectives that I had growing up, for sure. And, after thinking about that, I couldn’t help but think of all the young girls who would be watching this movie saying “Yeah, I could be a scientist” or “I could be an inventor” or even the ridiculous “I could be a Ghostbuster” (only ridiculous because, as much as I would like it to, that job does not currently exist).
That’s why it’s such an important film. And, say what you will about it, if you’re mad that they remade it and “how dare they ruin something so great” and “blah blah blah”, the entire original cast still agreed to be in it and ultimately supported the project. So, go ahead, be upset by it. And then realize how being upset about a film remake is ridiculous and that the remake does not ruin the credibility of the original.
And, I know that this film came out a year ago. I just still felt that this needed to be said. And I’m happy that I’ve now said it.
Now, if you’ll excuse me,
I heard something really weird. What’s Zuul?