My friend Kelli has been calling it “Chick Ghostbusters.” Which is probably offensive to some people, but I just find funny.
Anyway, we saw Chick Ghostbusters over the weekend. And I’m going to be really honest that it’s not a perfect movie.
It’s a LOT of fun. A whole lot of it. And if you know what’s good for you, you’ll get yourself to the nearest cineplex and enjoy the crap out of it tout de suite.
We seriously giggled through the entire movie. The only times we weren’t giggling were when we were laughing really hard.
This quartet of ladies (and Chris Hemsworth) are just so funny. I adore them all, and they worked well together. The biggest thing I loved about this reboot was that it is NOT a remake. It’s truly a reboot with a completely different story, totally different characters, and a brand new adventure.
That was honestly the thing I was most worried about going in. I really though it was going to be like, “Oh, okay, she’s the new Egon and she’s the new Ray, etc.” But it’s not like that. Yes, there are some similarities between some of the former characters and the new, but these ladies are all new and totally different, with distinct personalities.
My two best surprises came from Kate McKinnon, on whom I now have a total girl crush, and Leslie Jones, on whom I now have a total girl crush.
Kate McKinnon’s Jillian Holtzmann is super quirky, but not obnoxiously weird. There’s never a point where I’m like, “Oh my gosh! Enough already! I get that you like to eat bugs!” or anything like that at all. Every moment she’s on screen she’s saying or doing something that is just so perfect and so perfectly in character that it seems like this is just who she really is.
And Leslie Jones. I have to give SO MUCH LOVE to Leslie Jones. I was among the crowd of annoyed fans that wondered why the one woman of color in this film had to play the MTA worker. Why couldn’t she be a scientist? Why couldn’t she and Melissa McCarthy have swapped roles? It would still have worked and been just as good. And I still believe that. But Jones was so funny as Patty Tolan that it really did turn out right. And the thing I appreciated most about Patty’s character is that she was not given the Winston treatment. You know how Ernie Hudson played Winston and didn’t show up until somewhere in the middle when the original Ghostbusters were just super overwhelmed with work and they needed help so they took in Winston who was just a dude looking for a job but was mostly just there because it was 1984 and movies were expected to diversify the cast?
(In fact, this interview with Ernie Hudson is a pretty interesting read about how his character was completely altered and cut down from the original script version he thought he was signing on for.)
(But being the super cool dude that Ernie Hudson is, he isn’t even complaining in this interview. He’s just stating facts, but he’s just kinda like, ‘Oh well. It was still fun.’)
(And I totally want to go on a tangential rant about the hateful, terrible, evil racist attacks that have been waged on Leslie Jones, but this post is about gender, so please forgive me and know that I AM aware and crazy angry about it.)
Anyway, the movie is fun, the actresses (and Chris Hemsworth) are fun to watch and the effects are a good blend of nostalgia with modern technology.
Like I said before, this isn’t a perfect movie. I’m not going to pretend it is.
The villain is kind of lame and pretty boring, for one thing. The whole I-was-picked-on-so-now-I’m-going-to-destroy-the-world trope is getting old.
(Oh, sorry. SPOILER ALERT.)
And Christopher Campbell from Film School Rejects had this insightful piece about the most glaring problem with Ghostbusters (2016). You can read the spoiler-y post, which is good, or I’ll just sum it up: the ladies become heroes too easily. They don’t face a moment where it actually appears they might lose. And that is a fair and true criticism.
But, you know what? I enjoyed watching the movie and, like I said, giggled my way through it and am definitely going to see it again very soon.
Here’s my thing about the Chick Ghostbusters. We NEED this right now.
As soon as the first trailer was released, it became one of the most disliked trailers in the history of YouTube. And I was like, yeah, well, it wasn’t that great of a trailer. So I shrugged it off.
And then the tweets started. Terrible, hateful things from man-children presumably holed up in their moms’ basements crying about their “ruined childhoods” because a beloved, iconic movie was being remade.
(News flash: If the new Ghostbusters ruins your childhood because of your love of the old Ghostbusters, your childhood was not awesome. It was sad.)If the new #Ghostbusters ruins your childhood because of your love of the old Ghostbusters, your… Click To Tweet
After the tweets and Facebook posts about how terrible it is that we’re gender swapping the Ghostbusters, next came the campaign to troll IMDb to lower the rating of the movie so that it would look significantly less popular. The short-sighted problem with this was that the geniuses behind this move launched their moronic campaign before the movie actually opened.
So they rated it low before they ever could have even possibly seen it.
Which actually just revealed their idiocy, rather than accomplishing their goal of convincing the world the movie is bad.
The movie they never even saw.
And I realized that maybe, just maybe, some of those original low YouTube ratings were also based less on the quality of the trailer and more on people just being determined to tank this film and not give it a chance.
And now I’m just thinking, this movie came at the right time.
The level of misogyny leveled at everyone involved in this project from the bottom up has been so terrible. The fact that so many peoples’ big issue with this movie was NOT about the remake of the movie, but about the fact that it was WOMEN playing the Ghostbusters is exactly why we needed WOMEN playing the Ghostbusters.
The backlash on this hasn’t been like the remake of Poltergeist. Which is a terrible movie. Or Footloose, which I never saw and just assume was terrible but was certainly unnecessary. Or Annie which was…um…I’m just going to move on…
No. This backlash has been almost completely because of the gender swapping.
And, you know what, get the hell over yourself if that’s your big issue.
We need women in positions of prominence. Girls need heroes to look up to. Yes, girls can look up to men as heroes. There’s nothing wrong with that. But girls also need to see women being awesome and smart and strong (and scientists) and to know that it’s OK for them to be those things too.
And boys need to see women being awesome and smart and strong so that they grow up knowing they aren’t better than us just because of their gender.
Because that message just hasn’t been taught enough. Don’t even try to pretend that it has. Girls and women are amazing and strong and capable of so many things and girls need to be encouraged and supported instead of torn down. And boys need to learn that it’s not okay to tear down girls.
We need this movie right now. So badly.
Yeah, it could have been a little better. But that doesn’t mean it’s bad. If you go in without any expectations other than to have a good time, you will.
So PLEASE support this movie. Show the studios that female-centric movies make money. That chicks rule. And that these Ghost Girls deserve a sequel pronto.